Even cities with very active development pipelines, such as Chicago, still have a relatively large amount of vacant space.

CHICAGO—The downtowns of Chicago and other cities across the US have attracted a remarkably diverse mix of new businesses, residents, retail and attractions in just a few years. But even with all this activity, many CBDs still have a relatively large number of vacant lots, according to a new study by COMMERCIALCafé. This could promote urban sprawl and make it more difficult to create the very things, such as affordable housing and new parks, that city residents say they need the most.