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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


Inflatable Events Are Enlivening Downtowns

September 10, 2015
When it comes to radically changing the downtown streetscape, it doesn’t get much lighter, quicker, cheaper, or more accessible than temporary installations of inflatables. Event producers are offering giant waterslides, obstacle courses, and even public art installations of the air-filled variety. Better yet, some are partnering with nonprofit organizations, giving downtown groups opportunities to raise…Continue reading


Leadership Programs Attract and Retain Young Professionals

August 27, 2015
Offering a downtown leadership program provides an opportunity to engage active, energetic young people in downtown revitalization efforts and to gain their input in creating a more desirable downtown for their demographic. The Downtown Akron Partnership in Akron, OH, established its Emerging Leaders program in 2010. The group, which aims to increase the number of…Continue reading


Attracting Millennials to Live and Work Downtown

August 13, 2015
Cities across the nation are vying to attract and retain professionals aged 25-34 through social media and advertising campaigns, as well as with incentives which include internships, housing subsidies, student loan reimbursement, and more. For example, in an effort to retain students attending colleges and universities in the metro area, Philadelphia, PA, launched Campus Philly.…Continue reading