A Central Business District (CBD) is defined as a downtown commercial area in large and small cities where many businesses including retailers tend to congregate. Nowadays, CBD has become popular in many cities around the world. Yet, there are still pros and cons to carefully consider of building a CBD in a city.
Businesses within a CBD are consisted of a variety of different types of retail stores including specialty stores, convenience stores, department stores, discount stores, and luxury stores. They locate closely together in order to create a convenient and diversified shopping experience for visitors. From the consumers’ perspective, they will be benefited because of the opportunity to shop at several stores in walking distance from one to another. It will save much time traveling on a bus, subway, car, or by foot if the stores one wants to visit are far away from each other. Accessibility is one of the major components for people to think about while visiting sites. Since a CBD is always located in the downtown area of a city where the private or public transportation can be used, it is attractive for visitors to come and shop. City centre is easier to be reached at from any where in the city than a suburban area. It will not require too much of thinking and hesitation of how to get there. A CBD also has benefits to the store owners. When stores locates closely, they would more likely be a business system to prosper as a group. It could be a domino effect to form a trending ambiance. Additionally, it would be easier for security to take control when managing as a group.
Everything mentioned above sounds like there is no disadvantage of CBDs. However, it is not true. First of all, a CBD is a commercial space that can only be built in the central area of a city so that workers and visitors can easily access by using the private or public transportation. When the city centre is already being popular and full of visitors and tourist, the new CBD would increase the density of that area even more. There would be terrible traffic problems that affect the neighbors’ daily life. Secondly, due to the large amount of people in the transportation conjunction, the possibility of shoplifting would increase. The floating population would become a challenge to police. Safety would be the biggest concern in that area. Lastly, as mentioned above, stores would form a business system to grow together as a whole. The land value would increase. Nevertheless, if several stores did not operate well and closed down after few week or so, it would somewhat damage the atmosphere of the whole CBD. Then it even becomes harder for new stores to replace, because the value of land would be difficult to cover.
Therefore, CBDs have the both advantages and disadvantages to stores and visitors. It really depends on the characteristics a particular city has.