Resilient Retail in the Internet Age


  • How to understand changing retail and shopping trends in the internet age, and their potential to disrupt the brick-and-mortar industry and reshape the retail landscape
  • How to identify the types of locations, public settings, and design features of retail spaces that can make it more economically successful and market-resilient for the future
  • How zoning and development regulations can facilitate these new forms of retail, while limiting the effects of land- use changes that can disrupt stable neighborhoods or communities


Communities have long relied on "brick-and-mortar" retail to maintain economic vitality and to anchor public activity. However, e-commerce and evolving consumer preferences are dramatically disrupting today's retail industry. Every type of business, from mom-and-pop stores to the largest national retailers, is closing at record rates. This has resulted in communities with empty storefronts and vacant malls, but has also given rise to new uses for retail space, from large healthcare centers to locally innovated "popups." This course brings together experts from both the public and private sectors to discuss how resilient retail can be planned, designed, and built to meet the needs of today and anticipate those of tomorrow. Retail strategists and consultants share insights and discuss the new types of store formats being pursued. Retail developers and Business Improvement District (BID) directors highlight case studies on designing and leasing successful retail environments in the age of digital disruption. Planners provide examples of the necessary zoning and regulation changes needed to adapt to this retail revolution and explore changes it brings to communities. Hear a discussion with panelists from these disciplines.