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Downtown Digest provides brief summaries of essential information from Downtown Idea Exchange newsletter.

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Collecting and Using Visitor Data

March 9, 2023
Once used primarily in large cities, advanced location data is providing event planning and business recruitment insights to smaller downtowns such as Tybee Island, GA, and Chapel Hill, NC. The technology tracks mobile devices to monitor visitation patterns. Based on data from tracking company, downtown leaders in Chapel Hill, NC, know that 80 percent…Continue reading


Providing Safe Storage For Homeless

February 23, 2023
Most local shelters only permit clients to bring a single bag, forcing them to choose between leaving their belongings behind or staying elsewhere — often on downtown streets. In Kansas City, MO, 30 gallon bins are providing storage for the homeless. The rolling bins are stored in a secure location and have been dubbed "Heart…Continue reading


Cleaning Up Visual Clutter Downtown

February 6, 2023
When it comes to business signage, many commercial areas are a free-for-all of ads of all shapes, sizes, and colors. If your downtown could be described as an "ugly, cluttered, sign-overloaded district," it’s time to clean up, says Ed McMahon, chairman emeritus of Main Street America and a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute.…Continue reading


Using Incubator Spaces to Create a Pipeline of Start-Up Businesses

January 23, 2023
Downtowns big and small grapple with the challenge of building a roster of successful merchants. Many have taken a proactive approach by offering pop-up spaces and kiosksfor start-ups seeking a place to do business without a prohibitive upfront investment. Norfolk, VA, has been experimenting with pop-ups for several years. 2017 saw the launch of Selden…Continue reading


The Year In Downtown Revitalization

January 4, 2023
Every other week we share an article summary from Downtown Idea Exchange. Over the course of the year we’ve covered everything from business recruitment, to streetscape improvements, to placemaking, and more. To wrap up the year, we're highlighting five of our most popular posts. Creative, informative, and adaptable, they showcase some of the best work in…Continue reading


Improving Pedestrian Safety

December 21, 2022
October is National Pedestrian Safety Month. The Texas Department of Transportation took advantage of the opportunity to encourage drivers to watch out for pedestrians. TxDOT notes that in the El Paso area last year, there were 181 traffic crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in 21 fatalities and 42 serious injuries. The Be Safe. Drive Smart. campaign…Continue reading


Downtown Association Develops Safety Plan

December 8, 2022
Burlington, VT, was long known as a small, picturesque college town. But in recent years, Burlington has become afflicted by big-city problems, including crime and homelessness. Taking matters into its own hands, the Burlington Business Association developed a six point plan to ensure that the downtown is safe for residents, employees, and visitors. One important…Continue reading