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Reducing Parking Costs for Hourly Workers

November 18, 2022
Downtown leaders face a parking conundrum. On the one hand, urbanists have long preached that cities underprice parking at the expense of pedestrianism. Yet visitors and merchants often hate any hint of rising parking prices and more expensive parking tickets. Add to the mix, hourly downtown workers, grappling with inflation, and it’s more difficult than…Continue reading

 

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Buskers Bring Vibrancy To Downtown Streets

November 7, 2022
Like many downtowns, Cleveland has struggled to adapt to post-pandemic patterns of commuting and visitation. As of September 2022, the city was getting 80 percent of the overall visits it experienced in 2019. And visits to office buildings had plummeted to just 61 percent of prepandemic levels. Given that harsh reality, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange, Web Extras

November 1, 2022
Grants, loans to Black entrepreneurs boost downtown — Memphis, TN, is a majority Black city whose developers are mostly white. The Downtown Memphis Commission has been taking strides to change that picture by making the ranks of property investors and merchants more diverse. Watch a video overview of the Downtown Memphis Commission’s award-winning program below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3zOowHCutU ...

Imagining the future of downtown with community visioning — The community visioning session is a basic building block of community planning and downtown leadership. Read the full Community Visioning Handbook. ...

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Downtown Encourages Collaboration

October 21, 2022
The Comprehensive Arts Strategy in St. Petersburg, FL, outlines a roadmap for increased collaboration and new marketing opportunities, and it points to both short-term and long-term priorities. Rather than continuing to go it alone, St. Petersburg’s arts institutions are developing shared resources for maps, ticketing, and brochures, along with strategies for boosting attendance during seasonal…Continue reading

 

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Growing With Small-Scale Manufacturing

October 14, 2022
Shawnee, KS, is working to bring more small scale manufacturing to the city center. As a first step, the planning commission approved a proposal to permit "artisanal" manufacturing in two areas downtown. The artisanal manufacturing land use allows on-site production of handmade products including food, alcohol, and art. For a business to qualify under the…Continue reading

 

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Grants Bring Small Businesses Downtown

October 6, 2022
Downtown Albuquerque, NM, lost much of its vibrancy as small restaurants and retailers failed during the depths of the Covid-19 recession. A carefully constructed grant program is turning things around. The city directed $500,000 in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to grants for downtown businesses. To be eligible, businesses had to…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange, Web Extras

October 1, 2022
Downtown emphasizes arts as key part of destination’s appeal — In the past decade there has been almost no public investment in St. Petersburg, Florida’s arts scene. See how they are fixing the problem in St. Petersburg’s Comprehensive Arts Strategy. ...

Growing with small-scale manufacturing — Artisanal manufacturing land use allows on-site production of handmade products including food, alcohol, and art. For more on small-scale manufacturing downtown, see the archive article “Five steps for wooing small-scale manufacturers....

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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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