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Downtown Digest News • Web Extras

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May 2018

To remain competitive, communities build their own Internet networks —  According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, there are now at least 750 community-owned Internet systems in the United States. Chattanooga, TN, was the first in North America to build its own citywide gigabit-per-second fiber Internet network. Read the report, The realized value of fiber infrastructure in Hamilton County Tennessee. ...

Housing program draws and retains employees —  The Live it Up Wausau program in Wausau, WI, seeks to attract employees to the area and give them reasons to stay. View the program guidelines here.  ...

Retail and restaurant survey provides data for targeted business attraction —  Since 2011, the town of Flower Mound, TX, has conducted a Retail & Restaurant Survey every other year. The results are used to ensure that residents have input into the type of downtown they want, recruit new businesses, explore consumer leakage, and educate the public about why certain retail and restaurant desires are not realistic.  ...

Minimizing delivery congestion —  A report, The Final 50 Feet Urban Goods Delivery System, from the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab looks at reducing city center congestion. ...

Planners ponder underground space —  Read the World Urban Forum’s report, Think Deep: Planning, development and use of underground space in cities. ...

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Retail Corridor Re-Imagined as Active American Woonerf

March 15, 2018 — The two-block retail corridor in downtown Kirkland, WA, has been redeveloped as an award winning American "woonerf," a Dutch word that translates loosely as "living street." The plaza-like lane is now a pedestrian-friendly gathering space, while remaining open to vehicles, as well. The transformation did not happen overnight. The 2008-2013 Capital…To read more — login/sign up

 

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April 2018

Grant funding and event planning guide foster inaugural events —  The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) has offered its Start-Up Grant program since 2013 to encourage first-time events in Rochester, MN. Read the complete First Time Event Planning Guide and the Grant Guidelines document. ...

Listening, encouraging, and creating connections helps launch more entrepreneurial projects — Uptown Works, a cowork space, will be located in the historic World’s Attic building in the heart of downtown Somerset, PA. Watch the Uptown Works Introduction video below. ...

Repurposed shipping containers offer flexible, affordable space downtown —  Shipping containers are providing retail and residential space downtown and creating an attention-grabbing alternative to more traditional development. Container Park, in Las Vegas, NV, is perhaps one of the most ambitious of these projects. Read an archive article about Container Park. ...

Active Frontages encourage lively streets —  The Town of Milton, ON, Canada, is taking steps to create a more bustling, pedestrian-oriented experience downtown. See recent amendments to the town’s strategic plan. ...

Gee wiz parking technology —  Read a Parking Today article about the Westfield Century City parking system in Los Angeles....

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White Box Programs Make Older Buildings More Appealing to New Tenants

  March 2, 2018 — White Box programs are proving effective at driving redevelopment in city centers and getting hard to fill spaces rented. The programs typically help fund improvements to heating/cooling systems, lighting, electrical systems, bathrooms, and finished (but not yet painted) ceilings and floors. Improvements that are meant to make older buildings habitable…To read more — login/sign up

 

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Distilleries Drive Tourism and Renovation in Unlikely Downtown Locations

February 16, 2018 — Tasting rooms and events featuring local wineries and craft breweries have proved popular downtown. Now cities are finding distilleries are equally suited to the city center. The February issue of Downtown Idea Exchange newsletter highlights three distilleries that are contributing to historic preservation and attracting visitors and locals alike. In one example, the…To read more — login/sign up

 

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March 2018

City encourages Tactical Urbanism —  The city of Fayetteville, AR, is encouraging citizen placemaking via workshops and a new Tactical Urbanism: Permitting Process, Application & Materials Guide.  And for more information, read the final report from the pilot mini-roundabout project. ...

Tongue-in-cheek marketing touts downtown’s live, work, play assets —  A series of humorous videos produced by the Chamber of Commerce in Chattanooga, TN, allow the city to boast about its high-speed Internet, strong job market, quality of life, and more. See them below. ...

A proven White Box model —  White Box programs are becoming increasingly popular as they prove effective at driving redevelopment in city centers nationwide.  Read the Milwaukee Choice Neighborhood Critical Community Improvements Plan.  The White Box Grant guidelines are on page 27. ...

Revitalization project yields flexible walk/bike/drive/event space —  The two-block retail corridor in downtown Kirkland, WA, was becoming less walkable as tree roots buckled sidewalk panels, creating unsightly tripping hazards. Thanks to  an ambitious renovation project, Park Lane is now a pedestrian-friendly gathering space, while remaining open to vehicles, as well. Watch a video about the project below. ...

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