Central business district

Midtown Manhattan in New York City, the largest central business district in the world. Shown is the terraced crown of the Chrysler Building lit at twilight.

A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and business centre of a city. In larger cities, it is often synonymous with the city's "financial district". Geographically, it often coincides with the "city centre" or "downtown", but the two concepts are separate: many cities have a central business district located away from its commercial or cultural city centre or downtown. Both the CBD and the city centre or downtown may also coincide with the central activities district.

A city's CBD is usually typified by a concentration of retail and office buildings. The CBD usually has an urban density higher than the surrounding districts of the city, and is often the location of the tallest buildings in the city.

The CBD is often also the "city centre" or "downtown", but this is also often not the case. Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in New York City and in the world; yet Lower Manhattan, commonly referred to as Downtown Manhattan, actually represents the second largest distinct CBD in New York City and is geographically situated south of Midtown. For example, London's "city centre" is usually regarded as encompassing the historic City of London and the medieval City of Westminster, whereas the City of London and the transformed Docklands area are regarded as its two CBDs. Mexico City also has a historic city centre, the colonial-era Centro Histórico, along with two CBDs: the mid-late 20th century Paseo de la Reforma - Polanco, and the new Santa Fe. In Taipei, Taiwan, the area around its main railway station is regarded as the historic city centre while the Xinyi Planned Area located to the east of the said railway station is the current CBD of Taipei, being both the financial district and the premier shopping area, and the location of Taipei 101, Taipei's tallest building.

The shape and type of a CBD almost always closely reflect the city's history. Cities with maximum building height restrictions often have a separate historic section quite apart from the financial and administrative district. In cities that grew up relatively quickly and more recently, such as those in the western half of North America, a single central area or downtown will often contain all the tallest buildings and act both as the CBD and the commercial and cultural city centre. It has been said that downtowns (as understood in North America) are therefore conceptually distinct from both CBDs and city centres.[1]

CBDs usually have very small resident populations. For example, the population of the City of London declined from over 200,000 in the year 1700 to less than 10,000 today. In some instances, however (and particularly in large Australian and Canadian cities), CBD populations are increasing as younger professional and business workers move into city centre apartments (gentrification).


Catalinas North, an important business complex.

The Buenos Aires Central Business District (CBD and also referred to as the The City Porteña), is the main commercial centre of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. The actual area was the point of first European settlement. Its north-south axis runs from Monserrat in the south to Retiro railway station in the north. Its east-west axis runs from Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve and Puerto Madero.

The district is the financial, commercial, and cultural hub of Argentina. Its port is one of the busiest in South America; navigable rivers by way of the Río de la Plata connect the port to northeast Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. As a result, it serves as the distribution hub for a vast area of the southeastern region of the South American continent. Tax collection related to the port has caused many political problems in the past. Measured in GDP, the economy of Buenos Aires was the 12th largest economy among the world's cities in 2016 at US$409,7 billion in purchasing power parity, which, based on the population of that year, translates into US$31,590 per capita. The Buenos Aires Human Development Index (0.925 in 2016) is likewise high by international standards.

The city's services sector is diversified and well-developed by international standards and accounts for 78% of its economy (compared to 58% for all of Argentina's); advertising, in particular, plays a prominent role in the export of services at home and abroad. Manufacturing is, nevertheless, still prominent in the city's economy (17%) and, concentrated mainly in the southside, it benefits as much from high local purchasing power and a large local supply of skilled labor as it does from its relationship to massive agriculture and industry just outside the city limits themselves.


The term is used to refer to the business and financial area of a state capital city such as the Sydney CBD, Melbourne CBD, Brisbane CBD, Perth CBD and Adelaide CBD. The city centres of some regional cities, such as Townsville, Bendigo and Newcastle may also be referred to as CBDs.

Historically, as in most Australian cities the CBD coincides with the city's historical and cultural centre, "CBD" was the preferred term for the city centre, to some extent used interchangeably with the term "City" or "city centre" when referring to such central areas. More recently, in many cities the "city centre", which may or may not be distinct from the CBD, is increasingly separately identified.

Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world and these cities have a high-rise CBDs. Sydney Central Business District is one of the most well-known CBDs in Australia and forms an iconic image of Australia as it includes the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The CBD is the site of the largest concentration of companies in Australia.

Melbourne CBD is the second-largest in Australia. It hosts the headquarters of several large Australian companies.

Brisbane CBD is the largest CBD in Northern Australia and North-eastern Australia and Queensland. It hosts the headquarters of some of the largest companies in Northern Australia.

Perth's CBD is the largest in Western Australia and one of the largest along the Indian Ocean, despite the city's reputation as being one of the world's most isolated.

Adelaide City Centre is the largest CBD in South Australia and south-central Australia.


Dhaka is Bangladesh's largest city and the country's economic hub; the Motijheel division of the city, acts as Dhaka's main financial district and is essentially a center of economic and industrial activity. Agrabad is the central business district as well as the financial, commercial, and cultural hub of Chittagong.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo Central Business District is the biggest financial center in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is situated in the municipalities Centar and Novo Sarajevo and generates more than 15% of the GDP of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The CBD includes:

The Central Business District (CBD) makes Sarajevo one of the most important cities in the Balkan region and Europe.


Paulista Avenue, in São Paulo. The main CBD of Brazil.

The Sao Paulo central business district is the Avenida Paulista. However, there are other central outside the geographical core, as the districts of Santo Amaro and Itaim Bibi, more precisely the regions of Juscelino Kubitschek, Luís Carlos Berrini and Faria Lima avenues, in southwest-central city, which are characterised by intense vertical, and the presence of luxury hotels and multinational companies.

The biggest financial centre in Brazil and one of the biggest business centres in the world, São Paulo's economy is going through a deep transformation. Once a city with a strong industrial character, São Paulo's economy has become increasingly based on the tertiary sector, focusing on services and businesses for the country. Although being the most important financial centre of the country, São Paulo also presents a high degree of informality in its economy.

Rio de Janeiro downtown is city's business community, and the second largest in South America. Some of the largest companies in Brazil still have their head offices here, including Petrobras, Eletrobras and Vale (formerly Companhia Vale do Rio Doce), three of the largest Brazilian corporations.


In Canada, "central business district" is not used as official term by any city or the national statistical agency, StatsCan. Instead the terms "city centre" or "downtown" are used, more or less synonymously. The country's largest city, Toronto, officially regards as many as four business districts as being central. In French-speaking Canada, the usual term is centre-ville, however there is variation from city to city: Montreal's historic core, Old Montreal, is no longer the financial district, which is now Le "centre-ville" or Downtown. In Ottawa, the term "central business district" is often used to describe the 31 city blocks containing the office district, while the term "downtown" includes both the office district and the historic core of the city, known as the ByWard Market.


Santiago has a financial district that concentrates on a specific part of the city nicknamed Sanhattan. This area is located on the edge of the communes of Providencia, Vitacura and Las Condes, East of the capital of Chile, that are home to modern office buildings in which permanent commercial activity takes place. The financial sector of Santiago Chile settled in this area mainly during the 1990s, relegating the Centre of the city of this function. It is demarcated by Apoquindo Avenue and Barrio El Golf. Imposing buildings that make up a very elegant architectural unity can be seen along this part of the city. The majority of them began to rise when some of the most prestigious companies that were located in the centre of the metropolis decided to move to the East, at the beginning of the 1980s.

Sanhattan in Santiago, has the tallest skyscraper in Latin America


International Centre in Bogotá, Colombia
Montería's Downtown
Downtown Medellín is the second largest financial district in Colombia; it does not have many skyscrapers but has the Torre Coltejer, which is one of the tallest building in the country

Bogotá has the largest financial district in the country, known as Centro Internacional or simply Centro de Colombia which in English could be Colombian Center. The "Centro Internacional" is located in the center of the city and in the center of the country. It is home to four skyscrapers: BD Bacata, Torre Colpatria, Centro de Comercio Internacional and Avianca Building In addition, Bogotá has other financial districts called Avenida Chile and Salitre Plaza.

Medellín has the second largest financial district in the country, known as El Poblado; the city has no skyscrapers, but is home to the Torre Coltejer, the tallest building in the city.

Barranquilla has the third largest financial district in the country, known as Paseo de Bolívar it doesn't have skyscrapers but tall buildings as well.

Cali has the fourth largest financial district in the country; it doesn't have a specific name, but is called El Gato del Río. It is the home to 1 skyscraper: Cali Tower it's the only skyscraper that is out of Bogotá.

Montería has one of the patrimonial financial districts in the country which has the San Geronimo Church and the tallest buildings in Cordoba, one of those is "Torres Garces"'.

Cartagena de Indias has fifth financial district which is called El Laguito and Bocagrande that doesn't have skyscrapers but tall buildings.

Cartagena has the principal patrimonial financial district and is called Plaza de La Aduana and La ciudad Vieja or The Old City which can be found La Torre del Reloj, Cerro de la Popa, Hard Rock Cafe Cartagena, Plaza de Botero among others.


Lujiazui (Lokatse) Skyline, a major international financial and commercial center in Shanghai, China

In China, the traditional term for a city's central districts was "city centre" or "urban core" (Chinese: 市中心; pinyin: Shì zhōngxīn). Since the 1990s, many cities have developed a distinct CBD or financial district (Chinese: 金融中心; pinyin: Jīnróng zhōngxīn), which either occupies one part of the larger city centre, or is a separate, new development. The English initialism "CBD" is also used as-is in some cities, such as in the Beijing central business district.

China's largest CBDs can be found in mega-cities with populations of over 10 million or large metropolises including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

In some cities, for example Beijing and Shanghai, the newer business districts are either built around or opposite of historical city centers largely to preserve its visual and aesthetic setting. The best example of this is how the majority of Beijing's skyscrapers are located in the Beijing central business district, located in Chaoyang District (simplified Chinese: 朝阳区; traditional Chinese: 朝陽區; pinyin: Cháoyáng Qū) which is to the east and outside of the old enclosed city districts of Dong Cheng (东城区) and Xi Cheng (西城区).

While Shanghai does not have a CBD which is as clearly defined as in Beijing, the majority of all skyscrapers and supertall buildings are located in the Lujiazui or Lokatse area (a national-level development zone) in the Pudong district to maintain the visual setting of the traditional city centre, across the Huangpu River from Pudong, that remains the cultural and entertainment centre of Shanghai despite efforts to promote Pudong. Lujiazui contains the skyscrapers that make up the well-known Lujiazui skyline, and is home to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. However, the Bund, which is across the river from Lujiazui and the traditional CBD of Shanghai within the traditional city centre, remains an important part of the city's business district. A rich collection of historic and Art Deco style buildings from its heyday can be found on The Bund including the Asia Building, Union Building, Shanghai Club, China Merchants Bank Building and the HSBC Building. Other areas of the traditional city centre can also be regarded as CBDs of Shanghai.


La Défense, the largest business district in Europe, in Paris, France
La Part-Dieu and its skyscrapers in Lyon

In France, the most common term for a city's center is centre-ville. In many of the largest cities however, centre-ville refers to an historic district rather than a business district. In Paris, one of the main business districts is in La Défense, distant from the geographical center of the city, on the western edge of the boundaries of the Paris commune (municipality). Nevertheless, the Paris' main "quartier central des affaires" known as QCA (for CBD in French) is generally considered by real estate investors to be located mainly in the 8th arrondissement and partly in the 1st, 2nd, 9th, 16th et 17th arrondissements.

Other CBDs in France include La Part-Dieu in Lyon (2nd largest), Euralille in Lille (3rd), Euroméditerranée in Marseille (4th) and Euronantes in Nantes.


Central business district of Frankfurt, Germany.

In Germany, the terms Innenstadt and Stadtzentrum may be used to describe the central business district. Both terms can be literally translated to mean "inner city" and "city centre". Some of the larger cities have more than one central business district, like Berlin, which has three.

Due to Berlin's history of division during the Cold War, the city contains central business districts both in West (Kurfürstendamm) and East Berlin (Alexanderplatz), as well as a newly-built business centre near Potsdamer Platz. The city's historic centre the location of the Reichstag building, as well as the Brandenburg gate and most federal ministries was largely abandoned when the Berlin Wall cut through the area. Only after the reunification with the construction of numerous shopping centres, government ministries, embassies, office buildings and entertainment venues, was the area revived.

In Frankfurt, there is a business district which is in the geographical centre of the city and it is called the Bankenviertel.

In Düsseldorf, there is a business district which is located around the famous High-Street Königsallee with banks, shops and offices.[2]


Central business district of Budapest, Hungary across the Danube

Budapest downtown is the major central business district (CBD) of Budapest's metropolitan area, and a major financial centre in Hungary and the Central and Eastern Europe region. In Hungary, central business district are often referred to as downtown. In most cities (especially in Budapest) the downtown area will be home to the financial district, and to the most concentrated business activities, but usually contains entertainment and retail of some kind as well. The downtown area of Budapest are also home to large sports and convention venues.

Hong Kong

Central, Admiralty and Wanchai districts forming a foundation for major multinational financial services corporations and international consulates in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, the central business district is the largest in the Eastern Hemisphere and is located in primarily the Central and Western District, and also the Yau Tsim Mong District. These two districts encompass the more well known districts such as: Central, Admiralty, Wanchai and Causeway Bay (Hong Kong Island) and Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok (Kowloon). These areas can all be clearly identified by the density of skyscrapers and high-rises, and subsequently houses one of the densest areas in the entire world in terms of population.


CBD, Bangalore

In India, the term Central Block District is used to describe commercially vibrant pockets like M G Road area in Bangalore, The Mall in Kanpur and CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai. Although many Indian as well as international companies have their headquarters in South Mumbai -- and recently, Lower Parel -- the most prominent business district is the Bandra-Kurla Complex, located in suburban Mumbai. In Calcutta, from the time of the British Raj till today the area stretching from Dalhousie Square in the north to Chowringhee Road in the south, which includes the head quarters of Exide,ITC,Coal India, Emami Group, UCO Bank, Allahabad Bank and the Tea Board is the central business district. It also houses the iconic Writers Building, the headquarter of the East India Company and then the British Raj and now the office of the Chief Minister of Bengal and the Raj Bhavan which used to be the residence of the Governor General of India and then the Viceroys. It has a rich flavour of the colonial era and old world charm which is one of its kind in the east of the Suez.


The largest CBD in Indonesia is the Segitiga Emas (Indonesian "golden triangle") in Jakarta. The area is located along the Sudirman - M.H. Thamrin - H.R. Rasuna Said - Satrio - Gatot Subroto Roads. Sudirman Central Business District, a superblock that is located in Jakarta's Golden Triangle, is the first of its kind in Indonesia, and one of the largest commercial center development in the city. Jakarta started developing its sophistication of its Business District in the early 1960's before to host the Asian Games in 1962.[3]

Surabaya of East Java, will built its first central business district in Darmo region. The construction is expected to be completed by 2018 with 150 SOHO units and 500 residences.[4]

Jakarta Central Business District.


Central business district of Tehran, Iran.

Tehran is Iran's largest city and the country's economic hub;. It has a large number of important office buildings as well as many high-rises and shopping malls. Areas like Abbas Abad (Tehran) and Elahieh are business districts of Tehran. These districts are served by Tehran metro.


The main business center of Israel is on 20 Road between the Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv area next to the Israeli Diamonds international center in Ramat Gan. This area serves as the center of Israel's international business and the main Central business district of Israel.


A panoramic view of the EUR business district in Rome, Italy
Centro Direzionale in Naples, Italy

In Italy the business districts do not coincide with the geographical centers of cities, because the centro città is the historical part of them, usually ill suited to function as a modern directional district.

A sort of precursor of modern business districts is EUR in Rome, nowadays headquarters of many national and international companies and public bodies.

Rome's EUR, then the Centro Direzionale in Naples, and the homonimos one and the City Life in Milan are the most important business areas of the country.

Other important CBDs in Italy are in Genoa and Brescia.


Two of the biggest CBD's in Latin America are located in Mexico, and some of the most important in the world: City Santa Fe and Paseo de la Reforma, located in Mexico City.

Other important CBD's in Mexico include Puerta de Hierro in Guadalajara, Jalisco and Valle Oriente in Monterrey, Nuevo León.

The Netherlands

Zuidas, located in the south of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Kop van Zuid district as seen from the Euromast, Rotterdam.

This new and rapidly expanding business district is one of the largest in the Netherlands. Large multinationals—such as ING Group, ABN-Amro, and Akzo Nobel—already have their headquarters in this new area. The World Trade Center (Amsterdam) has recently been renovated and expanded.

Kop van Zuid is a fast-growing district in Rotterdam, featuring many highrises such as the Maastoren and New Orleans. Lots of big companies have settled here because of the strategic position (Next to the river Meuse and close to the Port of Rotterdam, which is the biggest port in Europe.)


The newest development area for high rise buildings (business and apartments) is concentrated in Costa del Este which is part of Panama City Panama. There are many apartment and business buildings containing more than 40 floors with constructions of two new malls and a host of strip malls. It is one of the areas where the housing boom has focused in recent years on the city.

Certain sectors, such as Punta Pacifica and Punta Paitilla, continue be one of the most exclusive residential areas of the country and exhibit a high density of skyscrapers, but they are rapidly losing ground to Costa del Este. Punta Pacifica, Punta Paitilla and Balboa Avenue contain many banks, hotels, restaurants and some of the most complete and modern shopping centers in the country, such as Multicenter and Multiplaza. In addition, the Balboa Avenue contains a seashore highway fill with public parks, tennis courts, bicycle road and is a favorite spot for families to gather in the weekend.


In Pakistan, a central business district or a large, concentrated urban setting within a settlement is called a shehar. Karachi is Pakistan's largest city and the country's economic hub; the Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar Road of the city, often called the "Wall Street of Pakistan," acts as Karachi's main financial district and is essentially a center of economic and industrial activity. Shara-e-Faisal in Karachi is also one of the most important business districts of Pakistan.

Another important business district is Gulberg, Lahore. It has a large number of important office buildings as well as many high-rises and shopping malls. City Towers,[5] Pace Tower, M.M Alam road, Vogue Towers, Park Plaza Hotel, Tricon Tower,[5] MM Tower,[5] Boulevard Heights and Ali Trade Center are present in this area. Ferozepur Road is also central business district of Lahore. It is served by Lahore bus rapid transit. Kayre International Hotel, and Arfa Software Technology Park are also present on Ferozepur Road.

Jinnah Avenue in Islamabad is the main business district of the city. It is lined with numerous office buildings. Blue Area is also central business districts of Islamabad. Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus Service is under-construction bus rapid transit system in these business districts which will connect them to key areas in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

D Ground is the central business district of Faisalabad and Saddar is the main central business district of Rawalpindi.


In Peru the central business district is San Isidro, in Lima, which hosts the majority of Peru's financial industry headquarters.[6] Although still a largely residential district, the commercial and business activity located in or in the vicinity of the area defined by avenues Camino

Real, Javier Prado Este, República de Panamá and Aramburú is highly regarded as Peru's financial and corporate heart.[7][8] It has a permanent population of around 63,000 inhabitants[9] and, during weekday business hours, a floating population that exceeds 700,000 daily commuters from other districts of Lima.[10] San Isidro is served by three stations of El Metropolitano, Lima's bus rapid transit system: Estación Javier Prado, Estación Canaval y Moreyra (with over 16,000 daily passengers)[11][12] and Estación Aramburú.

Since the late 2000s (decade) the southeastern district of Surco[13] has experienced a significant increase in upscale corporate developments in the area comprised by avenues Manuel Holguín, El Derby, El Polo and La Encalada due to lower restrictions to grant construction licences and proximity to residential middle and upper class districts and is set to become, after traditional San Isidro and Miraflores, the new corporate center of Lima.[14]


The Philippines has several Central Business Districts all over the country but most of them are located in Metro Manila. Prime business and commercial centers in the metropolis are Makati, the country's premier financial center, Bonifacio Global City, Ortigas Center, Quezon City, Manila, Pasay, Caloocan and Alabang

Makati CBD, Metro Manila, Philippines

The Makati Central Business District, also known as the Makati CBD, is the leading financial and central business district in the Philippines located at the heart of Makati in Metro Manila. It is politically known аs "Central Cluster" in the West District of Makati. Many of the skyscrapers in Metro Manila are in this area. PBCom Tower along Ayala Avenue is the country's tallest building and reaches up 259 meters. It is the headquarters of the Philippine Bank of Communications, or PBCom. The business district is also considered as one of the most vibrant commеrcial districts in Southeast Asia. It contains the Ayala Center, one of the region's major shopping centers. The financial district is managed by two groups - the Makati Commercial Estates Association (MaCEA)[2] and the Ayala Property Management Corporation (APMC).

Ortigas Center skyline at night

Ortigas Center is a financial and Central Business District located at the boundaries of Pasig, Mandaluyong, and Quezon City in the Philippines. With an area of more than 100 hectares (250 acres), it is Metro Manila's second most important business district after the Makati CBD.[15] It is governed by Ortigas Center Association, Inc.

Bonifacio Global City with the Manila Golf and Country Club in the foreground.

Bonifacio Global City (also known as BGC, Global City, or The Fort) is a financial district in Metro Manila, Philippines. It is the newest business district of Manila and is the premier financial and lifestyle center of the metropolis. It is located in the north-western part of Taguig City. It used to be a military base known as Fort Bonifacio. The Bases and Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) privatized the property and its income from the sale was intended to be used for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Upon its privatization, the place was transformed it into a business hub featuring numerous tourist attractions such as The Mind Museum, high-end shops, towering office skyscrapers, and luxurious lofts and condominiums.


Śródmieście is current CBD of Warsaw, but Wola is becoming a strong competitor for Śródmieście.

In Poland, the terms Śródmieście may be used to describe the central business district. But as problems with grounds' privatisation and not enough space for new office buildins in Śródmieśce, Wola district is slowly becoming new CBD in Warsaw. In many of the largest Polish cities, however, śródmieście refers to an historic district rather than a business district, or it may not be used at all.


The most noticeable CBD is located in Moscow. It is called Moscow International Business Center and is nicknamed Moscow-City(or Moskva-City). Unlike other CBDs, MIBC is being created as a single project, run by one designated company, and combines business activity, living space, retail trade, and entertainment in one single development.


The Downtown Core and the Singapore River Planning Area as viewed from the eastern bank of the Singapore River, with the CBD located on its western bank. Raffles Place can be clearly identified by the dense concentration of skyscrapers.

The area commonly referred to as the "CBD" is located within the Downtown Core, one of the constituent planning areas of the Central Area, the country's city-centre. Its densest point is centered around Raffles Place, where most of Singapore's skyscrapers are located. The "CBD" term has also been used at times to refer to the Central Area as a whole.

In the future, the government is planning to redevelop the town centre of Jurong East into a secondary satellite CBD.[16] The area has also been earmarked as the site of the rail terminus for the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High Speed Rail.

South Africa

Cape Town CBD skyline as seen from a rooftop in De Waterkant.

South Africa's largest cities, namely Cape Town, Durban Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Port Elizabeth, have CBDs which house the headquarters of many of the country's largest companies, as well as convention centers, and the cities' tallest buildings.

Cape Town is known for having South Africa's most iconic skyline (including the famous Table Mountain) and CBD.[17]

South Korea

Gangnam District, Seoul, is one of the most densely populated and dynamic business districts in the world. Its business skyrocketed in just 3 decades, and has built up scores of buildings.

South Korea has seven major cities. In Seoul, the capital city of South Korea and the biggest city in Korea, the main CBDs are the Junggu District and the Jongno District. Secondary CBDs are Gangnam, Yongsan and Yeoeuido.

Teheran Street of the Gangnam District is the center of Foreign corporation skyscrapers.


AZCA, a portion of the Paseo de la Castellana business district in Madrid, Spain.

The biggest central business areas of Spain are the Paseo de la Castellana with its Gate of Europe, AZCA and CTBA in Madrid, 22@ and Granvia l'Hospitalet in Barcelona, and the business centre in Valencia.

United Kingdom and the Commonwealth

The alternative term city centre is used in United Kingdom and Ireland. In British-influenced countries, such as the Commonwealth realms, former British territories (Hong Kong most noticeably (Chinese: 市中心), also use many of the same terms, but also have many characteristics of British cities. In the UK, Ireland, Australia and South Africa, the term is often just shortened to "city", as in "going to the city"; it is often also referred to as "town" ("going (in)to town", "going up town", or "going down town"). One exception is in London where "the City" specifically refers to the City of London financial district (one of the two main financial CBDs), rather than to any other part of London.

United States

View of Lower Manhattan in New York City. One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.

In the United States, central business districts are often referred to as "downtown" (even if there is no "uptown"). In most cities the downtown area will be home to the financial district, but usually contains entertainment and retail of some kind as well. The downtown areas of many cities, such as Chicago, Cleveland, San Diego, New Orleans, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Houston, are also home to large sports and convention venues. Historic sections of a central business district may be referred to as "old town", while decaying parts of the centre city are commonly referred to as the "inner city". The term inner city is sometimes not used literally but rather evocatively, applying a negative connotation and referring paradoxically to peripheral areas blighted during a mass exodus of middle class residents.

Some cities in the United States, such as Minneapolis, and Dallas, have mixed use districts known as "uptown" in addition to the primary downtown core areas. In some cities, such as Cincinnati, Ohio, Charlotte, North Carolina, Chicago, Illinois and Oklahoma City, "uptown" is instead the historic name for a separate business centre or neighbourhood. Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware use the term center city instead of downtown for their central business districts. In other cities, like Los Angeles and Indianapolis, the city core is simply known as "downtown". In New Orleans, the phrase central business district is used; and while downtown is sometimes used synonymously, traditionally it referred to parts of the city downriver from Canal Street, which would not include the CBD.

Land value variations in a CBD

Land users, whether they be retail; office; or residential, all compete for the most accessible land within the CBD. The amount they are willing to pay is called bid rent. This can generally be shown in a ‘bid rent curve’. Based upon the reasoning that the more accessible the land, generally in the centre, is the more expensive land.

This is called the bid rent theory.

Commerce (especially large department stores/chain stores) is willing to pay the greatest rent to be located in the inner core. The inner core is very valuable for them because it is traditionally the most accessible location for a large population. This large population is essential for department stores, which require a considerable turnover. As a result, they are willing and able to pay a very high land rent value. They maximise the potential of their site by building many stories.

As one moves from the inner core, the amount commerce is willing to pay declines rapidly. Industry, however, is willing to pay to be in the outer core. There is more land available for their factories, but they still have many of the benefits of the inner core, such as a market place and good communications.

As one moves farther out, so the land is less attractive to industry due to the reducing communication links and a decreasing market place. Because the householder does not rely heavily on these and can now afford the reduced costs (when compared with the inner and outer core) is able to purchase land.

The farther one goes from the inner core and outer core, the cheaper the land. That is why inner city areas are very densely populated (terraces, flats and highrises), whilst the suburbs and rural areas are sparsely populated (semi and detached houses with gardens).

Secondary central business district

Some cities have a primary and a secondary central business district. Examples of a secondary CBD include Lower Manhattan in New York City, where Wall Street is situated; the Canary Wharf financial district in London Docklands or La Defense in Paris which functions as the secondary financial heart of the city; as well as Akasaka, Ikebukuro, Roppongi, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Shiodome in Tokyo, Minato, Suminoe and Osaka Business Park in Osaka City, Rinku Town in Osaka Prefecture, and Bandra CBD, Mumbai. Another example is North York Centre and Scarborough City Centre in Toronto. Parramatta, west of the Sydney CBD on the Parramatta River, is also emerging as a secondary CBD for the city. It serves as the main economic hub of the growing Western Suburbs.

See also


  1. "Reviving American downtowns". The Economist. 1 March 2007.
  2. Thorsten Breitkopf. "Düsseldorfs Central Business District: Mischung macht das Zentrum einzigartig". RP ONLINE. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
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  6. General information of San Isidro (in Spanish) retrieved from San Isidro's Municipality official website www.msi.gob.pe on 2011-09-04
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  10. Mayor of San Isidro proposes alternatives to mitigate San Isidro's challenges (in Spanish) retrieved from LaRepublica.pe on 2011-09-04
  11. Metropolitano's Canaval y Moreyra station will have a new access for passengers (in Spanish) retrieved from El Comercio.pe on 2011-08-22
  12. Canaval y Moreyra station will have a new access for passengers (in Spanish) Archived 12 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. retrieved from Peru21.pe on 2011-08-23
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