Main Street Renewal

A Handbook for Citizens and Public Officials


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About the Book

Towns and communities across America once revolved around their downtowns. Here people shopped, worked, relaxed, and worshipped. Changing needs and developments, however, resulted in their abandonment. Over the past decade, citizens have begun to seek ways to rejuvenate their main streets. While these efforts have experienced varying levels of success, this handbook presents many of the more successful programs, providing practical and proven “how-to” insights for those communities seeking similar results for their downtowns.
The articles collected here provide an introduction to the downtown situation and its complex issues. They illustrate techniques of organization and management, describe the tools required for successful main street renewal, and provide case studies of many successful programs from across the country. This valuable tool for city planners, business people, and private citizens includes a bibliography and index.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Roger L. Kemp, Ph.D., has been a city manager on both the East and West coasts for more than 25 years and holds International City/County Management Association credentials. He has taught at the University of California, Rutgers University, the University of New Haven, and the University of Connecticut. He is a distinguished adjunct professor in the Executive MPA Program at Golden Gate University.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Roger L. Kemp
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 439
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006 [2000]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2659-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface     1


1. The State of Small Cities     7

The State of Small Cities      7

2. Overview of Local Economic Development      16

3. Trends and Practices in Local Economic Development      32

4. Issues Facing Small Businesses      56


5. Local Economic Development Practices      67

6. How to Get Started      87

7. Municipal Government’s Role      101

8. Creating Small Business Partnerships      107

9. Conducting a Community Self-Evaluation      115

10. Managing Development and Growth      122


11. Assessing Development Potential      137

12 Community Reinvestment Act      146

13. Downtown Revitalization      158

14 Downtown Safety Strategies      164

15. Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit      169

16. Keeping Retailers on Main Street     174

17. Parking Facility Management      181

18. Rural Banks and Economic Growth      186

19. Small Business Development Tools      193

20. Strengthening Downtown Businesses      203

21. Tax Increment Financing      209


22. Creating “New” Main Streets in California, Florida, and Illinois      221

23. The Santa Monica, California, Streetscape Project      228

24. Bringing Back Neighborhood Streets in Boulder, Colorado      232

25. What West Palm Beach, Florida, Learned from Shopping Malls      239

26. Creative Infill Development Strategies in Buckland, Georgia      248

27. Developing an Economic Incentives Ordinance in Cobb County, Georgia      255

28. An Assessment of Economic Development Efforts in Rural Illinois Communities      262

29. Public Plazas Bring New Life to Main Streets in Indiana, Texas, and Wisconsin      277

30. Establishing a Main Street through Architecture in Columbus, Indiana      282

31. Preserving Main Street in Madison, Indiana      290

32. Dealing with a Volume Chain Store in Carroll, Iowa     300

33. Building Community through Strategic Planning in McPherson County, Kansas      305

34. Using Specialty Retail for Economic Survival in Ponchatoula, Louisiana      317

35. Revitalizing the Old Mill Town of Maynard, Massachusetts     323

36. Evaluating Main Street in Corning, New York      328

37. Rebuilding Downtown in Grand Forks, North Dakota      335

38. Suburbs Working Together in Cleveland Heights, Ohio      341

39. Developing a Downtown Design Assistance Program in Pullman, Washington      349


40. Rethinking Local Economic Development      363

41. When to Use Incentives      370

42 Ten Myths About Downtown Revitalization      374

43. Community Agendas for the Future: A Corporate View      382

44. Working Together: Cities and Suburbs      390

Appendix: Resource Organizations      399

Annotated Bibliography      405

About the Contributors      419

Index      423

Book Reviews & Awards

“thorough”—; “provides an introduction to the downtown situation and its complex issues”—Abstracts of Public Administration, Development and Environment.