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Asphalt Art Protects and Beautifies

April 8, 2021
In Kansas City, MO, an asphalt art project transformed a tricky intersection making it less hazardous for pedestrians. Two cross streets approached from odd directions, creating two hairpin turns for motorists to navigate. Meanwhile, two wide lanes, encouraged motorists to speed — and left pedestrians anxious. City engineers worked with Street Smarts Design + Build…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

April 1, 2021
Asphalt art projects combine pedestrian safety, urban beautification — The Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative gives up to $25,000 per locale for visual art interventions on roadways, pedestrian spaces, and public infrastructure. See the City of Monticello Business District Building Improvement Grant Program application and guidelines. Watch videos about public art in Kansas City, MO, and Saginaw, MI, below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa8xNx7Cjwk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBdRy0x7Gqg ...

System of sensors and signs helps improve parking  — When workers return downtown in a number of cities, they will be greeted by a range of new parking technologies. Watch a video about the parking garage management system below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfXlVldgjaU ...

Old style mall becomes modern food hall — The newest addition to downtown Milwaukee’s vibrant restaurant scene is the 3rd Street Market Hall, with a dozen restaurants and food businesses. Read the report, “Food Halls 3.0.” ...

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In Midst of Retail Retrenchment, Cannabis Stores Fill Space

March 26, 2021
As downtowns everywhere struggle through the coronavirus pandemic, demand for downtown space has emerged in the form of state-regulated cannabis dispensaries. Office workers are staying home, retail shopping is shifting online, and restaurants and bars have been compelled to reduce their capacities — but legalized marijuana has provided a new source of downtown tenants. In…Continue reading

 

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Cities Move to Attract Remote Workers

March 11, 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has unleashed a new wave of migration, one that sees Americans moving out of high-cost states and into lower-cost states. The Pew Research Center estimates 71 percent of Americans are working from home, up from 20 percent before the coronavirus outbreak. More than half of those people want to continue working remotely,…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

March 1, 2021
Why it might make sense to recruit individuals rather than businesses — Traditional economic development strategies focus on wooing corporations, the larger the better. But it makes more sense to focus on homegrown businesses. Read the archive article, “Small cities woo residents, workers with student loan assistance.” ...

Amid retail retrenchment and COVID slowdown, cannabis stores fill space — As downtowns everywhere struggle through the coronavirus pandemic, demand for downtown space has emerged in the form of state-regulated cannabis dispensaries. See the archive article, “Marijuana Dispensaries Create Demand for Space.” ...

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Steady Stream of Small Improvements Drives Downtown Turnaround

February 25, 2021
When Evan Kaufman became executive director of the Hopewell Downtown Partnership a decade ago, the small city’s core was struggling. The neglected downtown of Hopewell, VA, was filled with rundown buildings. Food options were sparse, and locals didn’t think downtown was safe. "In Hopewell, it was beyond downhill," Kaufman recalls. "It had already passed the…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

February 1, 2021
Small-scale development concept leads to “polite” new building that fits urban fabric — In Portland, ME, a local couple envisioned a three-story, mixed-use building in the city’s Deering Center neighborhood. However, such a building hadn’t gone up for years.  Learn more about Missing Middle zoning. ...

Considering a façade grant? Here’s how one award-winning program works — Wheeling, WV, was recently recognized by the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia for its façade grant program. See the complete façade improvement program guidelines. ...

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Public Art, Storytelling Part of Award-Winning Branding Program

January 29, 2021
Skeptics think of downtown Bridgeport as a treacherous place. The Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District has a different perspective. It sees downtown Bridgeport, CT, as "friendly," "flourishing," and "eclectic." To underscore that image, the district launched Colorful Bridgeport, a branding and marketing program that pitches the district as a vibrant place to live, work, and…Continue reading

 

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The Year in Downtown Revitalization, 24 Posts and Counting

January 14, 2021
Over the past 12 months, Downtown Digest has highlighted dozens of examples of downtown leaders responding to the pandemic. But, that's not all. We've also covered parking management, attracting downtown residents, streetscape improvements, grant funding, and much more. If you’ve missed any posts during this hectic year, they are online now. You’ll even find our…Continue reading

 

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Shared Commercial Kitchens Support Start-Ups, Fill Vacant Space

December 30, 2020
The coronavirus recession has devastated independent restaurateurs, but it hasn’t stopped the spread of commercial kitchens, those facilities that serve as co-working spaces for food truck operators, caterers, and other food producers. Commercial kitchens are coming to downtown Orangeburg, SC, Oak Creek, WI, and other locations. In Oak Creek, a restaurant that didn’t survive the…Continue reading

 

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