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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

June 1, 2014
Business retention and creative sponsorships fund programs and services — The Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority produces a Next Big Projects brochure highlighting development projects and providing a timeline and the dollar value of the work. The Authority funds its work, in part, through a creative Legacy Partners Program. Here is a copy of the one page program contract. ...

Real estate matchmaking provides service to BID members and prospective tenants — The Site Seeker program allows the Downtown Dayton Partnership to provide a valuable service to members while also attracting new businesses to the city center. This simple online application starts the process. ...

Program engages youth, beautifies utility boxes — The Out of the Box Mural project has been a success in downtown Stockton, CA. Here is the application form and utility box template. ...

Converting to two-way streets — A report from Louisville, KY, considers the advantages and disadvantages of converting downtown streets from one-way to two-way. Read the full report Downtown Louisville Two-Way Street Study. ...

Blended programming draws art lovers and locavores downtown — To help promote artisans and farmers, attract more visitors, and foster job growth, the Belfast Creative Coalition created a farm and arts trail. See the trail map. ...

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

May 1, 2014
Vibrancy plan is a living, evolving document — Publication of the Stowe [VT] Vibrancy Report, was just the beginning as local groups honed the recommendations and moved many of them into the implementation phase. See the full Stowe Vibrancy Report. ...

Providing simple seating drives change in public spaces — Making lighter, quicker, cheaper improvements can mean something as simple as providing seats in public spaces. See how Belfast, ME, is using seating to drive foot traffic through an expanding downtown business district. ...

Economic impact of winter weather — Severe winter weather in many parts of the country has taken a toll on downtown businesses. Learn how the Anchorage Downtown Partnership and others cope with snow removal. ...

New brand strengthens and grows local businesses — In 2010, Newport, VT, began promoting itself as being Genuine by Nature. That led to the 2011 roll out of the Newport. Fresh by Nature. campaign, which has helped local restaurants, farmers, and food producers to grow their businesses while strengthening the community brand and attracting complimentary new businesses. ...

Electronic tours highlight all that downtown has to offer — Whether you are promoting downtown to newcomers or to locals, an interactive electronic tour offers practical options. For example, Golden, CO, finds an interactive walking tour encourages locals to linger longer and explore new areas of the downtown. While in Midland, MI, a virtual tour enables potential visitors, residents, and business owners to explore the downtown before making an in-person visit. Take the virtual tour of downtown Midland. ...

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Demonstration Project Makes Downtown Better

April 24, 2014
The Better Block project got its start in Dallas when a group of community organizers, neighbors, and property owners partnered to revitalize a single commercial block for a weekend. Since that time, Better Block projects have spread around the world. These volunteer-based projects, often referred to as “living charettes” or even “Extreme Home Makeover for…Continue reading

 

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Busker Event Takes Over Downtown

April 10, 2014
Creativity is filling city centers with whimsical creatures, exciting acts, and potential customers who flock downtown to see buskers perform. The Ellensburg Downtown Association in Ellensburg, WA, networked with other busker festival producers and blended lessons learned with its own unique touches to create its highly successful Buskers in the Burg festival. The unique event…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

April 1, 2014
Giving residents a seat at the BID table — The rising popularity of urban living has pushed some business improvement districts to give downtown residents a “voice” in what has historically been a business-centered organization. See how the a SoHo BID in New York City handles assessments for residential members. ...

Micro-condos becoming part of the urban housing mix — For suburban homeowners, small is in. And the same may well apply to in-town living, with those smaller spaces sparking updated ordinances and new incentives to attract developers. But just how small are these new micro-apartments? ...

Task force initiatives lead to reinvestment downtown — Nine initiatives of the Downtown Eugene Safety Task Force have created momentum for improvements in housing, employment, entertainment, and education. See the task force recommendations in full. ...

Busker events are gaining in popularity, part one — Creativity is filling city centers with whimsical creatures, exciting acts, and potential customers who flock downtown to see buskers perform. See the Buskers in the Burg online application from Ellensburg, WA. ...

Welcome gifts connect new movers with downtown — Providing new residents with municipal information, marketing materials, coupons, and other incentives to visit downtown businesses works well as impressionable movers seek to establish new brand loyalties. See the business recruitment and sign-up sheet used for the Fairfax, IA, Welcome Packet Program. ...

Unified theme weaves blogs, videos, contests, and more into new image for downtown — The 2013 Downtown Dreamers campaign was so successful that a 2014 Calling All Dreamers contest is now underway. See more about promoting the contest and details on the complete prize package. ...

Co-op ads save retailers as much as $4,000 — Downtown Madison, the central business improvement district in Madison, WI, provides high-value co-op advertising opportunities to members. See all of the co-op advertising and marketing opportunities. ...

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An Incubator Model for Smaller Communities

March 27, 2014
The Merrimack Valley Sandbox has created an incubator model, which it says will boost the social and economic vitality of cities with populations under 200,000. The model is more inclusive than most, the staff works with everyone from high school students and their teachers to senior citizens, as well as entrepreneurs from varied ethnic and…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

March 1, 2014
Generating community engagement for future projects — The 150th anniversary celebration in Evanston, IL, included the Evanston 150 project, a yearlong effort to gather stakeholder ideas for 10 significant improvement projects. The program was based on a similar initiative in Dubuque, IA. See the 10 big ideas from Dubuque, IA. ...

Inviting millennials to settle down — Mentor, OH’s, multi-media advertising campaign, included a commercial and banner ad on Pandora online radio. Hear the commercial now. ...

Finding the best location for a downtown farmers market — The Downtown Farmers Curb Market in Lakeland, FL, operates right on the street in close cooperation with street-level businesses. ...

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10 Rules for Downtown Chief Executives

February 28, 2014
In his 40-plus years working with nonprofit organizations, David Feehan, president of Civitas Consultants, has learned a thing or two about how downtown chief executives can ensure that the vision, mission, goals, and objectives of their organizations are on course. The February issue of Downtown Idea Exchange newsletter includes the first five of his 10…Continue reading

 

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