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Downtown Digest News • Web Extras

Spring Construction Season Gets a Little More Colorful with Public Art

July 19, 2018 — Two blocks in downtown Iowa City, IA, were under construction this spring and summer as the city worked to upgrade underground utilities; increase the width of sidewalks; distribute parking on both sides of the street; enhance accessibility; create healthier planting areas; and modernize lighting, seating, and other amenities. To reassure shoppers…To read more — login/sign up

 

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Art Program Activates Vacant Storefront Windows, Helps Lease Space

June 21, 2018 — What began as a grassroots initiative pairing vacant storefronts with public art in one Minneapolis, MN, neighborhood has grown into an "urban walking gallery" enlivening key commercial corridors in the city center and beyond, and incorporating live performances, artists markets, and pop-up galleries. The Made Here program aims to highlight local…To read more — login/sign up

 

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July 2018

Weekly, one-minute videos keep city center top of mind —  The new Grow St. Charles Monday Minute video series is allowing the Economic Development Department in St. Charles, MO, to highlight everything from retention and recruitment efforts to its thriving defense, aerospace, and healthcare industries. See four of the videos below. ...

Demonstration project educates and engages the public —  The Las Olas Boulevard Six-Month Safety Improvements Demonstration Project in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is part of an overall Community Investment Plan that includes safety and traffic calming improvements that will create a safer connection between the central business district, the busy boulevard, and local beaches. Watch videos educating the public about safety improvements and new bike lanes and rideshare zones below. ...

Exploring ways to expand the holiday season downtown —  It’s never too soon to begin planning for the holidays. In Chillicothe, MO, Main Street Chillicothe spent one summer polling merchants to discover what worked and what did not in the city’s holiday event calendar. See the Holiday Event survey. ...

Using a “carrot and stick” approach to address vacant buildings —  A new ordinance aims to keep better track of vacant buildings in downtown Paris, TX, while also incentivizing improvements and penalizing owners that allow properties to remain empty and/or unkempt. See the Vacant Building Registry ordinance. ...

Study reveals 25 actions to boost downtown —  A detailed report from the UK-based Institute of Place Management aims to identify factors which lead to sustainable high streets, or downtowns. Read the full report here....

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June 2018

Tour highlights the benefits of downtown living —  The inaugural Downtown Living Tour in El Paso, TX, was so successful that it has become an annual event.  Watch videos promoting the Tour below. ...

Strong city investment attracts development projects —  The demise of the textile industry left the city of Kannapolis, NC, with about 5,000 fewer jobs, a huge, vacant industrial campus, and a lackluster downtown. Thanks to heavy investment by both the industrial site owner and the city, the future is looking bright. See the project timelines, Master Plan, and Demonstration project renderings. ...

Under-utilized upper stories provide opportunities for downtown growth —  Successful upper-story residential units can help offset the costs of operating street-level businesses.  View Clinton, NC’s Mixed-Use and Second-Story Residential Development Incentive Program guidelines....

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May 2018

To remain competitive, communities build their own Internet networks —  According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, there are now at least 750 community-owned Internet systems in the United States. Chattanooga, TN, was the first in North America to build its own citywide gigabit-per-second fiber Internet network. Read the report, The realized value of fiber infrastructure in Hamilton County Tennessee. ...

Housing program draws and retains employees —  The Live it Up Wausau program in Wausau, WI, seeks to attract employees to the area and give them reasons to stay. View the program guidelines here.  ...

Retail and restaurant survey provides data for targeted business attraction —  Since 2011, the town of Flower Mound, TX, has conducted a Retail & Restaurant Survey every other year. The results are used to ensure that residents have input into the type of downtown they want, recruit new businesses, explore consumer leakage, and educate the public about why certain retail and restaurant desires are not realistic.  ...

Minimizing delivery congestion —  A report, The Final 50 Feet Urban Goods Delivery System, from the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab looks at reducing city center congestion. ...

Planners ponder underground space —  Read the World Urban Forum’s report, Think Deep: Planning, development and use of underground space in cities. ...

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