The fountain at the center of Montgomery, Alabama.

Five reasons why downtown revival is great

Justin Fox of Montgomery, Alabama, has watched downtown return from the dead in the last quarter century. Montgomery has benefited from a form-based code and new urban planning, and, most of all, the nationwide resurgence in urban living. Fox, a Bloomburg writer, listed five reasons why this pleases him.

1. A bustling downtown -- especially one with lots of cool old buildings -- is aesthetically more pleasing than a bustling mall. A judgment call, sure, but who’s going to disagree with it?

2. A downtown street grid is more efficient at handling traffic flows before and after a big event than just about any imaginable suburban street setup -- as Atlanta Braves fans are going to learn over the next few years -- so it’s a shame not to make full use of it.

3. Even though people drive to downtown, maybe they’re doing a little more walking than they would otherwise once they get here.

4. Downtown reflects on a city’s status and reputation in a way that other parts don’t.

5. Having a vibrant center can help bring a city together.