Study recommends walkability to encourage downtown Lansing growth

A new study of Lansing’s commercial districts recommends the city should support new retail businesses, construct more housing and make public spaces welcoming to pedestrians.

Downtown Lansing Inc. released the findings from a comprehensive market analysis it commissioned to understand how the city can encourage more sustainable development and attract more visitors. The analysis includes several specific proposals and examples of changes that it says would transform the city.

“When essential amenities exist within walking distance, residents can save time and money on commuting, reduce traffic congestion, and minimize their carbon footprint,” the economic revitalization group wrote in its executive summary of the study. “This supports sustainability and accessibility goals while creating a walkable neighborhood that fosters organic interactions among residents, promoting a sense of belonging and community cohesion.”

Downtown Lansing Inc. indicated a need to improve the downtown’s retail business offerings, finding that pharmacies, apparel, and home good stores are some of the area’s most in-demand businesses.

“There’s still identified gaps in retail establishments,” said Downtown Lansing Inc. Executive Director Cathleen Edgerly. “Filling these gaps will help lead to more residents wanting to call downtown Lansing and Lansing as a city home, and then, therefore, lead to more traffic.”

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