Tag Archives: Revitalization

Historic Tax Credits Help Drive Revival Near Downtown Omaha

The Mayfair Building in Omaha, after renovation. (Megan Smith / The World-Herald)
Nebraska’s new state historic tax credits are helping to save cool old buildings in sorry condition that have lingered on the periphery of urban Omaha revival. Developers pounced on the state historic tax credits the first year they were available, in 2015, and a University of Nebraska-Lincoln report found that the tax credit program “has already had a number of positive impacts on the Nebraska economy” in construction spending and wages. Read more... Read more

Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economic Development Technical Assistance

Rickshaw Bagworks makes and sells cycling-inspired bags in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. (Richard Masoner / Flickr)
Small-scale manufacturers have emerged as a significant force in today’s urban economy. For cities suffering the loss of skilled-labor employers, this emerging sector can create jobs and connect residents to economic opportunity while also serving as a powerful tool in the effort to revitalize neighborhoods. Smart Growth America announced a series of new, free technical assistance workshops. In partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration and Recast City, this program will educate and gather lessons from communities on how strategic... Read more

Revitalizing Neighborhoods: The Federal Role

Distressed neighborhoods in US cities are a product of centuries of systemic inequalities and there is increasing evidence that living in distressed neighborhoods is harmful for children and families. The recent federal place-based initiatives of the Obama Administration aim to revitalize these neighborhoods. This paper makes recommendations for future federal work in this area. Read report... Read more

The secrets to reviving struggling downtowns? Taller buildings, narrower streets and on-street parking can help

Struggling downtown Birmingham, Michigan
In the 1990s Downtown Birmingham, Michigan, which served a city of more than 20,000 located about halfway between Detroit and Pontiac, needed a change. Today, though, downtown Birmingham is thriving. The city’s central business strip has been lauded as one of the most walkable and pedestrian-friendly downtowns in the country, and the successful revitalization of downtown Birmingham should serve as a blueprint to other urban areas struggling to provide a boost to their struggling downtowns. Read more... Read more

Revitalizing Neighborhoods and Engaging Youth

Faculty and staff from the University of Michigan Prevention Research Center and the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center have worked with partners in the Flint and Genesee County communities for over two decades. Over the past few years, Flint has been front and center in the news because of high rates of crime and violence, and more recently the water crisis. What we see in the news, however, doesn’t tell the story of the tremendous efforts and successes of community... Read more

Fighting NIMBY To Fill A Need

Pillsbury "A" Mill exterior, after renovation (Credit: Troy Thies)
As one might imagine, breathing new life into a 136-year-old manufacturing plant is a task fraught with problems. As Minneapolis’s A-Mill Artist Lofts, a finalist in the National Association of Home Builders’ Pillars of the Industry Award proves, when you add in affordable housing as the goal of the project, the complications mount, especially if that old factory is now in an upscale part of town. Read more... Read more

Placemaking is Economic Development

After years of economic decline, Michigan’s cities needed rebuilding, but officials knew they had to take a new approach if they wanted their communities to be economically sustainable. Recognizing the potential of placemaking to attract and retain talented workers and businesses, Michigan is using strategic placemaking (combining the tools of smart growth and new urbanism) to target places and accelerate revitalization. In this webinar, experts Jim Tischler and Mark Wyckoff explained how strategic placemaking and broad stakeholder participation is improving... Read more

CityLove: Understanding Preservation’s Role in the Revival of the American City

Businesses in the Highland neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. The Heart of Louisville is a National Treasure of the National Trust. (Credit: Andy Snow)
Americans’ fondness for urban areas is stronger than ever—and preservation is playing a major role. In places across the country, developers have transformed Beaux Arts banks, Art Deco office buildings, and industrial-era warehouses into the centerpieces of Americans’ move back to city centers. Read more... Read more

Popular BART Art Installation Promotes Love Your Block Mini-Grant Program

love your block
The interactive BART Art Installation at Richmond Station — essentially a giant chalkboard — is always filled to the brim with messages from community members. The exhibit asking passersby to jot down how they would use $2,000 to improve their community, and also what they want to accomplish before they die, has attracted hundreds of responses since it went up late last month. The BART Art Installation operates as a promotion for the “Love Your Block” mini-grant program, which challenges... Read more
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