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Long Island’s Downtowns- An Underutilized Regional Asset

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): Long Island Index


Special Collection:

Topic: Social conditions (Housing)

Keywords: downtowns

Type: Report

Coverage: New York


As the Index has learned, successful regions recognize and utilize their assets. Long Island’s more than 100 downtowns and village centers are an asset, but for the past half-century the majority of them have been neglected and underutilized.

This year’s Special Analysis focuses on the issue of housing—what we have, what we need and want,and the gap between this supply and demand. It also takes a special look at Long Island’s downtowns as an opportunity for addressing the region’s serious housing needs. To study this topic, the Index used planning studies by Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Long Island Regional Planning Board to provide guidance on growth patterns, capacity and potential. The Fall 2007 survey of Housing Alternatives and Downtown Development conducted for the Rauch Foundation by Stony Brook University Center for Survey Research indicates the willingness of Long Islanders to live, work and shop in downtown locations.

In addition, a field survey of 23 downtowns conducted by the Rauch Foundation provides additional clues for how existing downtowns might become more attractive to residents, workers and visitors.