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.

 


Public art encourages citizen involvement

October 1, 2019
In June, volunteers from PFLAG Lafayette, an LGBTQ advocacy group in Lafayette, LA, painted the iconic Lafayette sign in downtown's Park San Souci as part of Pride Month activities. The Lafayette sign was erected in 2017 as an interactive public art installation. Local nonprofit groups are encouraged to paint its letters to promote community events…To read more — login/subscribe

 

Parking rate structure encourages turnover

October 1, 2019
The City of Spokane Downtown Parking Study presents a comprehensive package of recommendations designed to "facilitate growth and activity downtown, while making parking more convenient and user-friendly for residents, businesses, employees, and visitors." See the full study The document, offers a set of coordinated strategies focused on better utilizing existing parking spaces, updating permit programs…To read more — login/subscribe

 

Local food specialty adds authentic appeal

October 1, 2019
Festivals centered around local produce (Georgia Peach Festival, Kennett Square Mushroom Festival, Vermont Maple Festival) or a prepared specialty (Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, Picklefest, or the Livermush Festival) have great regional appeal. This summer saw the first sno-ball festival in Downtown Lafayette, LA. The event showcases a local Louisiana specialty made from shaved ice and…To read more — login/subscribe

 

Downtown Idea Exchange, October 2019

October 1, 2019
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To create a compelling brand for your downtown, avoid these common mistakes

September 1, 2019
Cities, business districts, and commercial corridors of all sizes are embracing place branding to attract visitors, new residents, businesses, and investors. Still, many city centers have saddled themselves with words and images that are outdated and generic. Branding expert Bill Baker travels the world’s downtowns, and he sees many downtown leaders making common branding mistakes.…To read more — login/subscribe

 

Seven steps to building a brand with power

September 1, 2019
Now that you know which brand-building missteps to avoid, here is Bill Baker’s seven-step process for building an authentic brand that resonates: • Research the current climate. Market research is the starting point for any brand-building endeavor. Look at what competitors are doing, determine what consumers think, and interview stakeholders. It’s important to remain objective…To read more — login/subscribe

 

City scrutinizes parking patterns, adjusts rates based on findings

September 1, 2019
Many cities set downtown parking rates and then forget about them for years. A few of the largest cities have embarked on ambitious parking plans that rely on wireless sensors and real-time data to adjust prices throughout the day. Seattle (est. pop. 724,764) chose a middle route. The city carefully studies parking patterns and then…To read more — login/subscribe

 

Small city uses arts to drive decades-long renaissance

September 1, 2019
Visitors pose for photos along the path of the floodwall murals. In the annals of cultural assets, a quilting museum and a public mural project might sound like an unremarkable pair of advantages. But Paducah, KY (est. pop. 24,879), has combined those two resources with local pride and a relentless place-building campaign to turn itself…To read more — login/subscribe

 

Historic city reimagines its past to move forward

September 1, 2019
Once thriving, then struggling, High Point, NC (est. pop. 111,213), is on the rise again. Tens of millions of dollars of new investment are flowing into the city’s downtown. Among the new projects are a 4,000-seat ballpark for the Rockers, a team that plays in baseball’s independent Atlantic League.  Other downtown projects include a condominium,…To read more — login/subscribe