NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — New Bern city officials are doing their research to see if a social district is something that can be beneficial in the near future.

A social district is where a city or jurisdiction designates an outdoor common areas where people can consume alcohol. Businesses such as bars, restaurants and retail stores within the district can participate.

Kevin Roberts, the president of the New Bern Chamber of Commerce, said they have done research and have looked into other cities to see how social districts are operating.

“The markets that we’ve spoken to have seen increased traffic in their markets as far as visitor traffic and people spending money,” Roberts said. “They’ve not seen increases in police involvement. In other words, they’ve it’s not turned into a fraternity party on the streets of every city we’ve talked to.”

Jeffrey Odham, alderman for the 6th Ward of New Bern, said all the pros and cons will be considered before making a decision.

“We also wanna make sure we have the infrastructure in place, whether it’s trashcans to take care of the litter that the folks will have after they have a drink,” Odham said. “To make sure we have the police presence if that is an issue or a concern that they’ve seen in other areas. We wanna make sure we have that in place before we implement anything. Because we wouldn’t wanna do anything that would be negative in our city.”

Oldham also said the Downtown Council is collecting data to present to the Board of Alderman for them to consider adopting and creating a social district.