And what it means to downtown Burlington, Vermont …

We need to compete for residents, employers/employees and visitors while maintaining our reputation as an genuine, vibrant and energetic city. Burlington has long been known for responsible development. We do not plan to relax this standard. Yet, successful downtowns know how to tout their successes—and anticipate their challenges before they become threats.

Burlington’s Strengths: A sense of place

Our city has an unique and original identity. It has been described as authentic, dynamic and lively due to its historical storefronts, the Church Street Marketplace, locally owned restaurants, colleges, universities and medical center, Lake Champlain, the waterfront … and it’s people.

Burlington’s Challenges

Challenges to Burlington are an inadequate tax base, inefficient traffic and transportation, maintenance and safety concerns, an underutilized waterfront and the need for more traffic generators/arts & entertainment.

Local Competition

South Burlington

  • Shelburne Road: just added 130,000 sq. feet of retail space.
  • Dorset St/U.Mall/City Center: planning a City Center with retail, office and residential space.


  • Tafts Corners Park/Maple Tree Place: planning additional 1,000,000 square feet of retail space.

For more information: Greater Burlington Retail Competition 2009 ppt

Competition- beyond Vermont

Cities like Zurich, Copenhagen, Vancouver, Montreal and Pittsburgh are topping global “most liveable” lists using criteria such as crime rate, public transport, ample leisure activities, environmental activism, business culture, housing and number of family-fun businesses.
Other strengths cited include welcoming neighborhoods, traditions, a human size scale and a place where the language of life is community.

Downtown Burlington is a cherished resource. Thank you for sharing your ideas to make the most of its potential.

The Downtown Partnership ~ planning for downtown Burlington, Vermont's future economic vitality.

© Copyright 2011 The Downtown Partnership