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Homegrown Event Creates Buzz, Builds Business

June 17, 2013
Having a multitude of great dining venues downtown only benefits the city center if people know about them, and visit them. To spotlight the vibrant downtown dining scene in Elgin, IL, the Downtown Neighborhood Association launched an annual Downtown Madness campaign. Much like the National Collegiate Athletic Association's March Madness basketball tournament, Downtown Madness is…Continue reading


Communities grow DIY grocery stores

June 4, 2013
When downtown residents are asked what they most want to see added to the business mix, a grocery store often tops the list. Post-recession economics may reduce the likelihood of chain grocers opening in downtown locations, but have instead spurred a new crop of grocery store co-ops. The June issue of Downtown Idea Exchange looks…Continue reading


Guerilla placemaking highlights downtown character

May 15, 2013
Guerilla placemaking initiatives are often low-cost, yet create a high-impact and unexpected vibrancy downtown with minimal municipal input. One example featured in the May issue of Downtown Promotion Reporter newsletter is the Eye Love You project, which, “connects people with people, and people with places.” The movement began in New Zealand, but has gone global.…Continue reading


Pet-friendly downtowns activate streets, support businesses

April 15, 2013
As more people embrace the urban lifestyle, pets are moving to city centers with their owners. That trend has increased the demand for downtown dog parks, which in turn, attract more pet-loving residents and visitors, creating a cycle of revitalization that benefits people, pooches, and businesses. Increasingly, communities are realizing that being people- friendly means…Continue reading


Stimulating Downtown Housing

April 1, 2013
Knowing the market potential, offering incentives, creating appropriate zoning, and facilitating connections between the city, developers, and potential residents all play a role in creating more housing in downtown Ithaca, NY. “There are three major things we’ve done to stimulate development of residential,” says Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. “We’ve worked…Continue reading


Co-work Spaces Support Start-Ups

March 4, 2013
By securing the right space and offering a creative mix of programs, events, and office amenities, the Alliance for Downtown New York shows the way to draw entrepreneurs downtown. Co-working spaces, which provide access to office equipment, support, and networking opportunities, were a relatively new concept in the city when the Hive at 55 opened.…Continue reading


Highlighting Downtown’s Heritage Draws Visitors

February 15, 2013
In an effort to highlight downtown heritage, add visual interest, educate people about the community’s history, and draw visitors downtown, Chillicothe, MO, embarked on a mural program “Work on the murals started in the mid-1990s,” says Crystal Narr, director of Main Street Chillicothe. There are currently 17 murals and two “ghost signs,” which are business…Continue reading


Creating Practical Low-Maintenance Public Art

February 1, 2013
When the Pasadena Playhouse District Association decided to embrace public art, the resulting utility box covers and crosswalk paintings were created with an eye toward aesthetics and practicality. It’s an approach that can work in any community. The utility box covers are done with vinyl wraps so that, “if graffiti or something else happens and…Continue reading