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Part 2: Leading Downtown in Challenging Times

March 26, 2020
Downtown leaders must find ways to help businesses through these tough times. Local governments and downtown organizations may be facing their own economic pressures, so increasing loan and grant money may not be an option. But reduced business fees, free peer counseling, help with advertising, and keeping business owners informed about funding sources can help.…Continue reading


Part 1: Leading Downtown in Challenging Times

March 19, 2020
The impact of Coronavirus will be big, deep, and constantly in the news, but downtown leaders must carry on. Interviews with economic development professionals and others suggest a range of strategies for supporting at-risk businesses, protecting the downtown’s market position, and growing the local economy in the months ahead. In this and future eNewsletters, we…Continue reading


New Streetscape Calms Traffic, Improves Pedestrian Experience

March 12, 2020
The town square of Athens, AL, boasts a century-old courthouse, bustling restaurants, and a church. Successful events such as a farmers market and a concert series are staged in the historic downtown. Incongruously, downtown Athens was also home to expansive thoroughfares seemingly designed for high-speed suburban traffic, not for a quaint downtown. "We had very…Continue reading


Hurricane-Battered Downtown Comes Back

February 27, 2020
As Hurricane Florence loomed in September 2018, downtown leaders in Wilmington, NC, had plenty of time to prepare. Downtown Wilmington Inc. canceled a commercial property showcase and collected cell phone numbers from downtown merchants. Workers took down street banners, removed hanging flower baskets, and scoured the downtown district for trash can lids, recycling receptacles, and…Continue reading


Getting Everyone On-Board with Pop-Up Retail

January 30, 2020
By all measures, the pop-up retail program in downtown Memphis, TN, is a success. However, Brett Roler, vice president of planning and development for the Downtown Memphis Commission, cautions that downtown leaders who expect instant success are likely to be disappointed. Roler says his first hurdle was persuading landlords to take a chance on pop-up…Continue reading


Closing Downtown Street Brings New Life

January 16, 2020
Pratt Street is a brick thoroughfare in the heart of downtown Hartford, CT. For all its promise, Pratt Street long has been bereft of pedestrian traffic. When the mayor proposed closing the street to cars, downtown leaders countered that further reducing activity on the street was the wrong approach. Instead, the Hartford Business Improvement District…Continue reading


The Year in Downtown Revitalization

December 26, 2019
Every other week you receive the summary of an article from Downtown Idea Exchange. Over the course of the year we’ve covered everything from business recruitment, to streetscape improvements, to placemaking. To wrap up the year, we’re highlighting five of our favorite posts. Creative, informative, and adaptable, they showcase some of the best work in downtown…Continue reading


Holiday Drawing Drives Traffic to Downtown Shopping District

December 18, 2019
In an effort to bring shoppers downtown and compete with nearby areas, a Canadian improvement district dusted off a classic downtown retail promotion and added some aggressive marketing techniques. The Glebe Spree, hosted by the Glebe Business Improvement Area in Ottawa, ON, Canada, runs from November 15 through December 31. Shoppers receive blank passports, and…Continue reading