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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

June 1, 2021
City uses array of strategies to create bike-friendly vibe — Thanks to years of effort, biking is big business in Fayetteville, AR. The investment includes an expansive trail network, on-street cycling infrastructure, and ambitious biking initiatives. See Fayetteville’s Active Transportation Plan.  ...

Redefining formula restaurants — To preserve small businesses and local flavor, some cities are passing rules to limit the number of national businesses that can set up shop downtown. Read more about limiting formula businesses.  ...

Converting retail to residential — Many have predicted that a shift from retail to residential uses was a likely outcome of the pandemic. For more information, read the article, “As retail industry struggles, cities can encourage commercial-to-residential property conversions.” ...

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Retail Village Boosts Local Economy

May 20, 2021
Following the lead of similar successful projects, Kuna, ID, will launch its own retail market village in June. The village will consist of 12 small shops in re-purposed garden sheds. The sheds will surround a central green space with room for food trucks and small gatherings. Lisa Holland, the city’s economic development director, says that…Continue reading

 

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Bringing Small-Scale Manufacturers Downtown

May 7, 2021
A new breed of business could lead a wave of downtown revitalization. Niche manufacturers — think craft jewelers, makers of small-batch lotions and cosmetics, and microbrewers — are a growing, but often overlooked, segment of the post-pandemic economy, says Ilana Preuss, founder of consulting firm Recast City. "There is this hidden economic engine in every…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

May 1, 2021
Push for 15 mph speed limits gains momentum — In an effort to reduce pedestrian fatalities, Virginia lawmakers passed a bill that would allow municipalities to drop speed limits in business districts as low as 15 mph. Read the Governors Highway Safety Association report. ...

Most mayors expect pedestrian-friendly changes to prove temporary — The COVID-19 pandemic led cities to reshape their urban landscapes. According to research by Boston University’s Initiative on Cities, the transformation of city streets appears unlikely to last. See Boston University’s report here. ...

Retail village boosts local economy — Kuna, ID, will launch a retail market village in June. The village will consist of 12 small shops in re-purposed garden sheds. Read the archive article, “Outdoor kiosks breathe new life into long-dormant space.”  ...

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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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