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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


How to Fund Office-To-Residential Conversions

December 20, 2023
President Joe Biden has unveiled a policy designed to spur conversions of empty commercial buildings to residential use. The plan calls for public financing of office-to-residential projects, the sale of some federal properties, and targeted tax incentives. "Office and commercial vacancies across the country are affecting urban downtowns and rural main streets," the White House…Continue reading


Downtown Shares Hidden Treasures

December 14, 2023
For one day in September, 23 buildings in downtown Riverside, CA, opened their doors to visitors. Most allowed guests to wander at their own pace, while others hosted guided tours. The buildings included several churches, historic buildings, and small museums. The annual Doors Open Riverside is one of many Doors Open events throughout Europe, North…Continue reading


Street Murals Slow Traffic

November 30, 2023
Cities nationally are embracing a low-cost way to boost traffic safety and reduce pedestrian fatalities: They’re installing street murals. Compared to installing roundabouts or narrowing streets, asphalt art is a quick and inexpensive way to slow cars and make motorists more aware of their surroundings. Fast Company magazine labeled the concept a "ridiculously simple" way…Continue reading