Main Streets Conference 2012

Concurrent Educational Sessions: Tuesday, April 3: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m.

 Dynamic Planning for Main Street Revitalization

This session will examine redevelopment through a brownfields and vacant property reclamation lens. Using Colorado as a case study, it will show how corridor-wide brownfields redevelopment strategies can result in more successful cleanup and revitalization efforts. You will leave this session understanding the linkages among community assets, brownfields redevelopment strategies, and broader revitalization goals. You’ll also take away a suite of best practices to guide your own efforts. CM | 1.25

Learning Objectives:
  • Integrate brownfields and vacant property redevelopment strategies with broader downtown revitalization goals.
  • Identify how catalytic sites and gateway locations play a role in transforming corridors.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of best practices and policy innovations for corridor-wide redevelopment.
Katherine Correll, Downtown Colorado, Inc.; Mara D'Angelo, Smart Growth America; Sandra S. Nichols, Environmental Law Institute; Jesse Silverstein, Colorado Brownfields Foundation

 Comprehensive Branding: Engage, Inform, Involve, and Inspire

With the unprecedented availability of communications and the intense competition for investment, downtowns must manage their most valuable asset: their brand. Learn about the key elements of successful branding so you can develop an effective brand message to drive activity, increase community involvement, and engage the right audience. Find out how to develop a plan of action; use the latest marketing tools, including social media; and integrate planning and promotions into a strong brand.

Learning Objectives:
  • Learn how to identify unique attributes in order to differentiate your message and create a powerful brand.
  • Learn key processes in strategic downtown planning that will support the brand and increase community involvement.
  • Explore new ways to integrate and utilize social media campaigns in order to drive interest, activity and involvement while reinforcing your brand.
  • Get key steps to building a sound plan of action for creating and managing a powerful downtown brand.
Jacob Hurt, Urban Initiatives; John Greavu, Boom Advertising

 Increasing Downtown Livability Through Sustainable Water Management Practices

Our communities need clean water for drinking and recreation. Green infrastructure can improve stormwater management and water efficiency while meeting important revitalization goals. Policy and projects are at the core of the solution, and you can get there through small, incremental steps instead of jumping right into costly projects. You’ll learn to engage your communities in green infrastructure planning, practice, and policy; promote sustainable water management; visualize sustainable practices; and integrate sustainability within economic development planning. CM | 1.25

Learning Objectives:
  • Engage communities in green infrastructure practice and policy
  • promote sustainable stormwater management and water efficiency
  • visualize sustainable practices in the fabric of historic communities
  • integrate sustainability within economic development planning
Jenee Kresge, National Association of Regional Councils; Liz Deardorff, Pennsylvania American Rivers; David J. Yocca, FASLA, AICP, LEED AP, Conservation Design Forum

 Retailing: Where Do We Go from Here? Being Small, but Thinking Big? Being BIG, but Thinking Small?

In this anxious marketplace, clever retailers are rethinking their strategies. Learn about the trends that are driving consumer decisions, such as themed retail with imaginative interiors; social style, social applications, and social selling; novel locations, pop-up-tailing and rental culture; virtual deal making, digital currency; augmented reality; on-demand dining and experimental eating; and understanding consumers’ motivations. This is a highly visual session that will stimulate your thinking about the future of Main Street businesses.

Learning Objectives:
  • Main Street Managers and business owners will be challenged to embrace many new retail formats
  • To understand current retail success strategies that can be adapted for their small business
  • To strategize and learn tactics that appeal to today's fickle/educated consumer
Margie Johnson, Shop Talk

 The Perils of Advocacy: How to Advance Your Cause in Difficult Situations

Successful Main Street programs derive strength from bringing together diverse stakeholders to focus on a common goal. But what happens when advocating for downtown's interests brings you into conflict with an important funder or major supporter? It can be difficult to maintain a broad-based coalition while taking a stand on controversial issues. Using case studies, this session will provide several practical strategies for navigating "the perils of advocacy" while maintaining your collaborative approach.

Learning Objectives:
  • Recognize the value of advocacy to accomplishing their organization's mission
  • Understand that broad, diverse collaborative efforts create space for conflicts
  • Identify potential conflicts and issues that may arise as a result of their organization's advocacy efforts on behalf of downtown
  • Employ four practical strategies before, during and after a crisis
Leilah Powell, Brackenridge Park Conservancy

 Engaging African Americans on Main Street

Successful African-American Main Street communities and Main Street programs that have successfully engaged African-American communities will share best practices that range from avoiding marketing stereotypes to customer preferences and business recruitment techniques. We’ll also touch on unique issues related to the African-American community, including socio-economic, regional, urban/rural, cultural, religious, and generational differences.

Tanya Bowers, National Trust for Historic Preservation

 Coordinating Efforts: Main Street’s Impact on Baltimore Neighborhoods

Throughout the state, Maryland is increasing its coordination of programs aimed at historic preservation, commercial revitalization, and community stabilization. In Baltimore, Main Street can be an effective program for economic development through historic preservation incentives, but the needs and challenges associated with urban neighborhoods also must be taken into account. The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA) has been tracking indicators of neighborhood success and is expanding to establish correlations between commercial and community factors. The work of BNIA-JFI shares important neighborhood data to help communities make  better-informed, more strategic decisions. See this program in action through Baltimore case studies and find out how it can work in your neighborhood. CM | 1.25

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn about the coordination of historic preservation, commercial revitalization and community development programs.
  • Participants will be able to identify linkages between Main Streets and local surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Participants will learn how Main Streets can serve as a tool for local neighborhood revitalization/stabilization strategy.
  • Participants will be able to identify the importance of historic preservation in local economic development.
Matthew Kachura, University of Baltimore; Chad Hayes, Belair-Edison

 Crowdsourced Placemaking: A Technology Breakthrough for the Public Process

Technology can help the public influence what gets built in their communities. “Crowdsourced Placemaking” is an exciting innovation for letting people provide input and suggest and vote upon ideas that can be incorporated into redevelopment plans. This is happening for the first time in the U.S. in Bristol, Connecticut, where 1,000 people online supported a public piazza, which became the centerpiece of the comprehensive redevelopment plan for downtown Bristol created by Renaissance Downtowns. The inclusion of a piazza in the redevelopment plan went viral, as was demonstrated by the efforts of volunteers who ran a Pop-Up Piazza Festival, which attracted up to 20,000 people to Bristol’s downtown. Learn about this fascinating case study; how social media can demonstrate market support for types of uses and users, catalyzing economic development; and how to build community support for large-scale, triple bottom line (social, economic, and environmentally responsible) development.