More housing and nightlife, a reimagined Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, and new opportunities for street vendors and small shops are among the strategies a new report sketches out to infuse new life into Boston's downtown.

Downtown is the city's most heavily trafficked neighborhood, according to the report from city officials and the Boston Consulting Group, but new workplace routines and widespread adoption of remote work have cut into that traffic and sent office-space vacancy rates on an uptick.

More than two-and-a-half years after COVID-19’s first wave hit, economic activity downtown is still 20% to 40% below pre-pandemic levels in hard-hit sectors like lodging, retail, restaurants and tourism — a more severe decline than in other parts of Boston. Foot traffic has rebounded more quickly on weekends than weekdays, and the city says that shows non-office uses are bouncing back more quickly.

Mayor Michelle Wu described the report as "a roadmap for a truly inclusive, round-the-clock neighborhood filled with new homes, diverse businesses, world-class public spaces, vibrant nightlife, and a thriving arts and culture scene."

It sketches out broad goals — like expanding "the daily use of downtown beyond work by bolstering downtown's cultural, art, retail, services, and hospitality ecosystems" and supporting underserved populations, small businesses and the creative community — as well as specific steps the city can take, like piloting some pedestrian-only streets and creating inexpensive or rent-free spaces for startups, nonprofits and businesses owned by women and people of color.

James Rooney, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, said he sees the report as "almost like a 10-year blueprint," proposing a mix of short-term actions and longer-range initiatives that will need to be developed in detail. Many ideas, he said, will also require collaboration with other entities, from building owners and managers to state government.

The report says the city can work to improve connections and mobility downtown through transportation and pedestrian infrastructure. It identifies advocacy with the state-run MBTA as one step toward that goal.

Rooney said a reliable T is critical to a revitalized downtown.

"I know that a lot of this is driven by the idea of worker flexibility and more people working from home and not being in the office, but when we talk to our members about that, the number one reason people are choosing not to come in is their frustration with public transit and traffic congestion," he said. "I think the revival of the T will lead to some revival of the downtown. It's not going to create the pre-pandemic world, but I do think there will be more activity."

With the city eyeing ways to attract people beyond office workers to the neighborhood, the report says downtown residential space seems to be in demand, but so far it has not been the target of a major housing development push. About 31,000 housing units are in the pipeline across the city, only about 400 of those units are downtown.

Following the lead of cities like Philadelphia, which has developed 1,800 apartments in commercial spaces since 2020, the report suggests supporting the conversion of some office space into new uses, like apartments and student housing where possible. It also recommends fast-tracking zoning for developments that feature a significant amount of affordable housing.

Boston officials also are relaunching a downtown community planning process put on pause in 2020 because of the pandemic. A kick-off event is slated for Nov. 9, and the effort is set to include a study exploring the feasibility of converting underused office buildings for residential and other uses.