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Food-based Events Draw Crowds

August 24, 2023
Restaurants and other food-based businesses can make a strong contribution to a downtown’s success. These critical assets attract and serve downtown residents, workers, visitors, and even culinary travelers. Downtown leaders have many opportunities to work with the restaurant community to promote downtown and ensure the longevity of these small businesses. For example, in Sioux Falls,…Continue reading


Downtowns Embrace EV Charging

August 17, 2023
Reading, PA, hopes a big investment in electric vehicle charging stations can give its downtown a reboot. Downtown leaders in Hamilton, MT, see an EV charging station as a way to generate visits. The EV boom is in full swing, and downtowns across the country are trying to use it to their advantage. Earlier generations…Continue reading


How To Encourage Downtown Housing Development

August 11, 2023
Office conversions are having a moment — the topic is the subject of news stories, webinars, and conference sessions. With office space experiencing heightened levels of vacancy and housing units very much in demand, the concept of repurposing underused office space to in-demand residential space is a compelling one. But an office-to-residential conversion is not…Continue reading


How Downtowns Cope With Intense Heat

August 3, 2023
The summer kicked off with record-breaking heat across much of the U.S. In the Southwest and South-east, the "feels-like" temperatures soared well above 100 degrees in July. For downtown leaders, the oppressive temperatures complicated plans for outdoor events — and they served as a reminder that cities need to start planning for intense heat. While…Continue reading


Filling Vacant Storefronts

July 27, 2023
Empty store windows can sabotage a downtown’s best efforts to create a bustling, vibrant scene that encourages visitors to stay and spend. While vacant storefronts have long been the bane of small cities, the problem spread to larger cities during the pandemic. Downtown leaders can only do so much to combat the broad trends of…Continue reading


Downtown Expands Outdoor Refreshment Area

July 7, 2023
Most of downtown Dayton, OH, has become an outdoor drinking district, a move city leaders say creates cultural vibrancy and economic vitality. Business owners asked to expand the original Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) with a new downtown drinking district that is more than nine times as large and includes dozens of restaurants and bars.…Continue reading


Making The Most Of Downtown’s Murals

June 22, 2023
A2AC Murals brings large, vibrant works of art to the public in Ann Arbor and South East Michigan. The program is run by the Ann Arbor Art Center and funded through Patronicity and a matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The center encourages people to get out and get involved with the public…Continue reading


“Daylighting” Downtown Streams Boosts Ambience and Flood Control

June 15, 2023
In the 20th century, many cities tried to contain creeks, streams, and small rivers with concrete culverts and other engineering projects. In the 21st century, growing numbers of waterways are being set free. Restoring waterways to something like their natural order is a process known as "daylighting." The restoration projects are gaining attention globally and…Continue reading