Downtown Seattle’s public safety challenges are well-known. The death throes of traditional retail — and what it means to big cities — have received less attention. Recreating a lively, interesting urban core to shop, explore and stroll will be just as important as resolving longstanding problems with street crime. As the National League of Cities wrote in a recent report: “The future of cities and the future of retail are intertwined as we rebound and rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Across the country, the pandemic wreaked havoc on traditional retail. Eighty-seven million square feet of retail space went dark during the 2008 Great Recession. By comparison, an estimated 158 million square feet emptied out in 2020, mostly due to major chains closing. Read more at The Seattle Times.