For Immediate Release
Contact: Linda K. Harris, Center City District

NEW YORK, NY, October 6, 2013 – The Center City District, a private-sector sponsored business improvement district dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is pleased to present a new, groundbreaking analysis that examines 231 major employment centers and their adjacent residential neighborhoods in 150 of America’s largest cities, defined by total number of jobs, tracking their changes in the last decade.

The report is one of the featured presentations at the International Downtown Association’s World Congress, “A Passion for Cities,” October 6-9 in New York City. The 56-page report, Downtown Rebirth: Documenting the Live-Work Dynamic in 21st Century U.S. Cities, is being presented by Paul R. Levy, President and CEO of the Center City District (CCD).

Among the findings:

  • While the revitalization of U.S. downtowns and campus areas has been written about extensively, until the release of Downtown Rebirth, there has been no standard way to define downtowns and anchor institution districts to enable a comparison of employment and population trends in all major American cities in a way that accounts for the diverse physical shapes of major employment nodes and their adjacent residential areas.
  • For the first time, Downtown Rebirth defines the geographic form of major, urban employment based on job density; documents that America’s 150 largest cities hold 30% of all jobs in the country; and demonstrates that the 231 major employment centers within these cities contain 18.7 million jobs — 14.4% of all U.S. employment.
  • Within these major employment centers and the one-mile radius that surrounds each of them, 12.9 million people (4.2% of the U.S. population) now make their primary residences in live-work environments that define thriving 21st century cities.
  • On average, the population of the 10 largest of these urban live-work areas grew by 17.2% between 2000 and 2010, while the U.S. population grew by only 9.7% during the same period. Most recent real estate data and population estimates suggest that this trend is continuing and accelerating in many cities.

Among the 231 employment centers in 150 major cities, as defined by their total number of jobs:

  • Center City ranks third behind only Midtown and downtown New York in number of residents who live within the commercial downtown, with 57,239 residents living between Vine and South Street, river to river.
  • Center City ranks fourth, behind Midtown New York City, downtown New York , and Boston in terms of total number of residents living within a mile of the commercial downtown (170,467).
  • Philadelphia ranks 10th in both total downtown jobs (288,227) and percentage of downtown residents who work downtown (40.7%).

“Until the first decade of this century, there was no systemic effort to quantify the magnitude of the downtown live-work renaissance, in part because the dominant urban narrative for so long had been the story of decline,” said IDA CEO and President David Downey. “This report illustrates the resiliency and attraction of downtowns across the country, which have become the epicenters for entrepreneurial talent, capital, and residential growth.”

The report was written by Levy and Lauren M. Gilchrist, Manager of Research & Analysis at the CCD, with research support from the CCD staff. To read the report and for more information, please go to


The Center City District, is both an implementing organization dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe,attractive and competitive and supports extensive research on employment, housing and transportation trends in Philadelphia. Find us at and on Facebook and Twitter.

The Washington, D.C. based International Downtown Association (IDA) is a champion for vital and livable urban centers and strives to inform, influence, and inspire downtown leaders and advocates. With 550 members and thousands of friends, IDA is a guiding force in creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities, and regions.