Main Streets Conference 2012

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Main Street Urban Summit

It’s been 27 years since the National Trust Main Street Center’s first urban demonstration project and 18 years since that demonstration ignited the spark for the first citywide Main Street program in Boston. Today there are more than 70 urban programs and five citywide programs across the nation, with interest building each year. Join us for two back-to-back, 75-minute sessions where we will share research findings (“The State of Urban Main Streets”), discuss best practices, question “what is urban?”—neighborhoods of major cities, downtowns of mid-sized cities, first-tier suburbs, and/or small towns located in heavily urbanized areas—and look at ways to adapt Main Street to urban environments. What’s next for urban Main Streets? Where can, and should, we go from here? Karl Seidman will present a keynote address on lessons and best practices for successfully adapting the Main Street model based on his research in several cities and experience working with Main Street districts in Boston and New Orleans. We’ll also feature several local practitioners who will discuss successful volunteer engagement, working with city councils, clean and safe issues, and land banking and commercial land trusts as a successful revitalization tools. Small group discussions will be organized around common questions about how Main Street works in urban communities.  Be a part of this unprecedented convening of urban Main Street leaders to take a closer look at the Main Street Approach in an urban setting and help chart new paths for the Main Street network and methodology.

Lauren Adkins, National Trust Main Street Center; Karl Seidman, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Amanda Elliott, Richmond Main Street, Calif.; Sara Wittenberg, Alberta Main Street, Portland, Ore.; Jeff Schwartz, Broad Street Connections; Ric Cavender, CEDFP, Charleston East End Main Street, W.Va.; Chad Hayes, Belair-Edison, Baltimore, Md.

More Educational Opportunities

After the engaging Urban Summit on Monday afternoon, spend Tuesday and Wednesday learning about community kitchens in Philadelphia, Complete Streets in Dubuque, Iowa and the District of Columbia. Learn about working side-by-side with immigrant business owners to improve your business corridor or innovative uses for transforming underutilized urban areas. Check out these sessions in Baltimore:

You can also learn from a strong urban program: our co-host Baltimore Main Streets. Check out these Baltimore Educational Tours:

  • Baltimore Main Streets Overview (Sunday)
  • Cultivating Main Street: Implementing Urban Agriculture in Baltimore
  • Community Gardens in Emerging Neighborhoods
  • Finding a Way to Freedom: Explore the Stories, Sites, and Landscapes of Harriet Tubman
  • NTCIC Tour of Historic Tax Credit Investments in Baltimore