Many cities are trying to attract college campuses -- or at least parts of them -- to their downtowns. I've written in Governing about how Phoenix has lured a biomedical campus and potentially 15,000 ASU students from Tempe as part of its downtown revitalization, and about how Orlando believes that having the University of Central Florida's law and film schools downtown will serve as anchors for a new "creative village" of professional firms.
The logic of all this is simple. Downtowns can use the young people for foot traffic and as shoppers, and young people are among those most likely to enjoy today's restaurant-and-retail themed downtowns.
Whether these will end up being happy meetings, or whether downtowns are in for years of town-gown adjustments and will end up wishing the students stayed on their sylvan campus enclaves, remains to be seen.
But I note that my alma mater, San Francisco State University, is moving its College of Business downtown. (SFSU is way down at the southwestern corner of the city, much closer to the ocean than to downtown.)
And not just downtown, but into a shopping mall. The San Francisco Chronicle story about this says right in the lead, the move is "an attempt to better serve more than 7,000 students, who will also become a source of shoppers for the newly opened retail complex."
And that's what education's all about.