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Courting Successful Business Owners

July 17, 2014
A new initiative in Gardiner, ME, is encouraging businesses with a proven track record in other communities to open new downtown locations. Two years of planning and consideration went into the program design, which is being hailed as, “a model for redevelopment efforts” statewide. Businesses accepted into the program are eligible for a number of…Continue reading

 

Public Space Fitness Programs Draw Crowds

July 3, 2014
Dance, yoga, CrossFit, and more are enlivening public spaces in downtowns across North America. In one example, the Waterfront Partnership in Baltimore, MD, offers a Waterfront Wellness Series on weekend mornings from late May through late September, which includes free yoga, boot camp, CrossFit, and Zumba. “I think a lot of us have gym memberships,…Continue reading

 

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

 

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

 

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