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Downtown Idea Exchange, Web Extras

September 1, 2022
City develops process, guidelines for building tree canopy — In 2020, a catastrophic windstorm ripped through Cedar Rapids, IA. In addition to several deaths and billions of dollars in property damage, the storm destroyed more than half of Cedar Rapids’ tree canopy. In the aftermath, the city hired an urban planner and a national landscape architecture firm to rebuild the city’s urban forest. See the full ReLeaf Cedar Rapids report. ...

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Downtown Parking Lot Goes Green

August 25, 2022
To help reduce stormwater run-off on downtown streets, a popular Myrtle Beach, MD, parking lot is going green. Green parking lots incorporate permeable or semi-permeable paving, porous design techniques, and landscaping to reduce stormwater runoff. The city’s Infrastructure Project Manager Chris Miller says that the city will see multiple benefits. The new pavers will reduce…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Limits Short-Term Rentals

August 9, 2022
The proliferation of properties being marketed on Airbnb, VRBO, and other platforms has created concern in many municipalities. Critics say the short-term rentals disrupt neighborhood cohesiveness with constant turnover and occasional loud parties. Others point to rentals as contributing to rising real estate prices and a shortage of affordable housing. Traverse City, MI, recently banned…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange — Web Extras

August 1, 2022
Downtown’s bold plan envisions sweeping changes — The city center in Kansas City, MO, has experienced “vast improvements” over the past two decades. A sweeping proposal calls for even more changes in the coming decade. The Downtown Council early this year released the Downtown KC 2030 Strategic Plan. Read an executive summary of Kansas City’s plan. ...

City approves outdoor drinking zone — but only amid strong pushback — Downtowns nationwide have embraced outdoor consumption of alcohol. But in Wisconsin, the idea of designated outdoor refreshment areas, or DORAs, has met local resistance. In late June, Oshkosh, WI, approved a DORA, making it only the second downtown in the state to allow such a district. See Oshkosh’s ordinance. ...

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Farmers’ market spreads out downtown

July 25, 2022
Spring saw the launch of the Newton Summer Farmers’ Market in northern New Jersey. The market aims to bring consumers and farmers together and includes only foods grown, produced, or raised within 25 miles of the market. The market also supports local shopping. Unlike many markets which operate in a downtown park, plaza, or lot,…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange — Web Extras

July 1, 2022
How downtowns are incorporating heat mitigation into their designs — In Tucson, AZ, summertime temperatures are hot — and getting hotter. In response, the city has begun requiring shade structures and other heat mitigation. See the full report on heat strategies. ...

Community owned store marks milestone — Village Mercantile recently celebrated its 10th anniversary of continuous operation in the upstate New York town of Saranac Lake. To learn more read the archive article, “Community develops locally owned department store to meet needs.” ...

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Downtown Idea Exchange — Web Extras

June 1, 2022
Four lessons from a marginal neighborhood’s turnaround — In San Diego, CA, a decades-long experiment to revitalize a long-neglected community has made notable progress. To learn more, read the report Activating the Power of Place: A Case Study of Market Creek Plaza.  ...

Small downtown uses multi-pronged approach to drive turnaround — Toccoa, GA, boasts a thriving downtown and a bustling historic theater. It has even carved out a niche as a setting for filmmakers looking for an iconic courtroom and Main Street. For more information, read the Archive Article, “Insights into successful pedestrian malls.” ...

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Downtown Replaces Decades-Old Signs

May 26, 2022
In downtown Napa, CA, wayfinding signs are fading and more than two decades old. “They have patched-over fonts, different colors, and incorrect information,” says Economic Development Manager Neal Harrison. “A good example of that is the visitor center moved from Main Street to First Street and the signage hasn’t moved with it.” Napa’s experience with…Continue reading

 

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