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Bid Proposal Meets Determined Resistance

March 7, 2024
The proposal to form a BID in Rochester, NY, has powerful backers. Supporters include the mayor, county executive, property owners, business leaders, and the Partnership for Downtown Rochester. In a November news conference, Rochester leaders called forming a BID a, "no-brainer." While that sounds straightforward enough, a group has formed to oppose the proposal. Its…Continue reading


Umbrella Sharing Encourages Visitors to Linger Longer Downtown

February 29, 2024
Both Vancouver, BC, and Vancouver, WA, are known for their wet weather. And both downtowns have unveiled umbrella share programs for visitors and residents who find themselves caught in the rain. In Vancouver, WA, Vancouver’s Downtown Association has operated the Umbrella Share Program for two years, says Michael Walker, the group’s executive director. The Umbrella…Continue reading


Downtown Addresses Negative Perceptions

February 22, 2024
Downtown Indy Inc. is working to turn the tide on negative perceptions about safety in the heart of Indianapolis, IN. In October, the organization launched a three-month paid marketing campaign featuring the offerings of downtown destinations, events, and merchants, including live music at the Indianapolis Zoo, walks along the canal, and craft beer at a…Continue reading


Downtown Right-Sizes Parking

February 15, 2024
In Wichita, KS, city officials are making big changes to the downtown parking system — increasing hourly rates and fines, reducing the amount of free parking, upgrading parking meters, and tightening up enforcement. Despite some push-back, Assistant City Manager Troy Anderson says that the changes are necessary for the overall health of the downtown. He…Continue reading


City Removes Public Benches

January 31, 2024
Michigan City, IN, used a simple solution to address challenges with its homeless population: The city removed downtown park benches from sidewalks and moved them into storage. Problem solved? Not exactly. While the tactic does encourage problem residents to move on, taking away public seating doesn’t address the underlying causes of homelessness. Still, for downtown…Continue reading


Businesses Support Each Other During Construction

January 18, 2024
A long awaited infrastructure project got underway in Kingman, AZ, in July. But the launch was not without concern for local business owners. The proposed improvements include updating the area for enhanced walkability and ADA compliance as well as the addition of extensive landscaping, wayfinding elements, street furniture, and other amenities. To minimize disruption, the…Continue reading


Downtown Expands Retail Base

January 11, 2024
 Iowa City, IA, the Iowa City Downtown District is testing novel ways to serve existing merchants and recruit new ones. In one successful strategy, the Downtown District runs its own delivery service. It leases a vehicle and pays a driver, and deliveries are free to customers within a 15-mile radius of downtown. In another program…Continue reading


Top 5 Articles of 2023 — Plus a Special Offer

January 4, 2024
Every week we share an article summary from Downtown Idea Exchange newsletter. 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 downtown…Continue reading


More Outdoor Drinking Coming in New Year

December 28, 2023
As of December, Panama City, FL, allows visitors to consume alcohol two days a week while strolling through the Downtown Panama City Social District. City officials approved the new district despite opposition from skeptics who say looser rules encourage public drunkenness. Panama City was one of many communities to launch an outdoor drinking district in…Continue reading