Downtown Idea Exchange

Each month downtown leaders turn to Downtown Idea Exchange for practical news reports, how-to information, and hundreds of real-world examples of how downtowns are growing and prospering.

 


Six lessons from a DID’s demise

June 1, 2021
For a quarter-century, the Downtown Improvement District (DID) in Reading, PA (est. pop. 88,373), managed the city’s declining urban core. The DID’s ambassadors picked up trash, and the organization hosted summer concerts, a holiday parade, and other events. However, Reading never experienced a true downtown renaissance, and questions about the DID’s effectiveness festered. Those doubts…To read more — login/subscribe

 

City uses array of strategies to create bike-friendly vibe

June 1, 2021
This year, Fayetteville, AR (est. pop. 87,585), became the first U.S. locale to win the Bike City designation from the Union Cycliste Internationale, the sport’s Swiss-based world governing body. Thanks to years of effort, biking is big business in Fayetteville. The investment includes an expansive trail network, on-street cycling infrastructure, and ambitious biking initiatives. The…To read more — login/subscribe

 

One downtown formalizes sudden surge of ghost kitchens

June 1, 2021
Ambitious operators are embracing the growing concept of ghost kitchens. In one example, REEF Technology of Miami, FL, has amassed 5,000 urban locations nationally. In another, the former CEO of Uber launched CloudKitchens and has invested more than $100 million on sites in two dozen cities.  These kitchens are essentially restaurants without the dining space.…To read more — login/subscribe

 

Five ways to stop giving away money at the curb

June 1, 2021
In downtowns large and small, curbsides are getting congested. Everyone, it seems, craves a parking spot along Main Street. Delivery drivers, bikeshare stations, and Uber operators compete with local residents for that increasingly scarce metered spot by the curb. “In our rapidly changing world, the humble curb is seeing a convergence of competing uses,” write…To read more — login/subscribe

 

Downtown sweetens incentives to recruit mall businesses

June 1, 2021
It’s a decades-old story: After a suburban mall opened, downtown lost many of its merchants. But with the retail landscape changing, one downtown is reversing the script. The Downtown Development Authority in Alpena, MI (est. pop. 10,034), sees opportunity in the repurposing of an old mall. With the Alpena Mall changing ownership and some tenants…To read more — login/subscribe

 

Idea Exchange: Quick Tips and News from Around the Country

June 1, 2021
Downtown re-opening event Local Palooza was created to welcome the community back to outdoor, in-person gatherings while supporting downtown Lafayette, LA’s arts and small business community. The free event featured continuous live entertainment in and around downtown’s Parc Sans Souci as well as local vendors from the Louisiana Crafts Guild, and food and beverages for…To read more — login/subscribe