- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 30 Aug 2019
A city is a human settlement with a large population. A city centre is the area of a city where significant commerce, political, cultural and power is concentrated. It is often also the geographic centre of a city. Typically, the city centre will be the first part of a city that was settled, making it the most historic area.
A city centre plays an important role in the economy of a city, since businesses benefit from the proximity that the centre offers. It is typically well-connected to other districts and suburbs, i.e. with good infrastructure and public transport links, and attractive in terms of employment, education and leisure time. Many cities share their centre with what is known as the Central Business District (CBD), although the concepts differ; the CBD is focused solely on economic and business factors, and is often referred to as the ‘financial district’.
Efforts to improve city centres can be focused on ‘urban renewal’ or ‘regeneration’ to encourage and direct private finance into a particular area as a supportive measure where market forces have failed.
Densification is a term used by planners, designers, developers and theorists to describe the increasing density of people living in urban areas, particularly city centres which can often be the most expensive places to live in the city.
In the United States, the term ‘downtown’ is typically used instead of ‘city centre’.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) defines a town centre as an; '...area defined on the local authority’s proposal map, including the primary shopping area and areas predominantly occupied by main town centre uses within or adjacent to the primary shopping area.’
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Five things to consider before installing solar panels.
New conservation building for the Louvre completed.
A balance between character and climate.
Bamboo pavilion built at London South Bank Uni.
Bringing in an expert.
Why the lowest price isn't sustainable.
The Most Economically Advantageous Tender.
Pipe dream or possibility?
The New Rules of Measurement.
Prioritising Sustainable Development Goals on projects.