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Creating a Walkable City Center Spurs Growth

December 17, 2015
In response to more than three decades of population loss and commercial decline, the city of Birmingham, MI, committed to building a new identity as "The Walkable Community."A long-range vision, along with traffic-calming measures, ordinance changes, and more over the past two decades has seen the downtown’s Walk Score reach 92, a "walker’s paradise." "We…Continue reading


Stroll Downtown, Get a Cookie

December 3, 2015
City centers are offering cookies as an incentive to get customers into more downtown businesses during the holidays. In Oak Park, IL, a cookie walk began as part of the annual Winterfest nearly a decade ago, but quickly became the signature event. "People love getting 50-plus cookies and candies," says Shanon Williams, marketing director for…Continue reading


Ads Feature Small Business Owners

November 5, 2015
To bring the independently owned, small business scene front and center in Pasadena, CA, the Old Pasadena Management District has run several cooperative ad campaigns focusing on small business owners rather than on their products and services. Old Pasadena has roughly 300 shops and restaurants downtown, and about 75 percent of them are independents, but…Continue reading


Public Space Management Draws People, Revenue, and Partnerships

October 22, 2015
Partnerships between cities and downtown organizations allow the pooling of resources, avoid duplication of effort, and can guide redevelopment and activation of urban parks in the direction most beneficial for downtown residents, workers, and visitors. That’s been the case in Seattle, WA, where the Downtown Seattle Association and its Metropolitan Improvement District manage two of…Continue reading


“Street Scenes” Enliven Downtown

October 8, 2015
To increase the appeal and draw more people downtown for Small Business Saturday, Morgan Hill, CA, created "street scenes." Individual parking spaces in the heart of downtown were transformed by local businesses into activity areas. One parking space was transformed with a holiday theme and featured Santa Claus posing for photos with children. Another spot…Continue reading