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., ICMA-CM, has been a city manager on both the East and West coasts for more than 25 years. He is presently Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at Golden Gate University and a Fellow of The Academy of Political Science.

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
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