Identifying Economically Resilient Small City Downtowns
PI: Kennedy, Z. (University of Illinois)
Co-PIs: Haines, A. (University of Wisconsin) and Schwartau, B. (University of Minnesota)
Project Abstract: This project will help community economic development educators in the North Central Region provide local economic development and business leaders with information to support their improvement of the health, vitality and resiliency of their downtown districts. Building upon previous work, including a literature review of successful downtown indicators, this project will create a website featuring a searchable database (with perhaps 250 community entries) of successful downtowns enabling users to identify “peer comparison” communities. The idea being that a community can gain insight and learn from the successes of other similar communities. The website will feature best practices related to: creating entrepreneurial communities, planning & zoning, business development and redevelopment, data driven decision
making, and developing partnerships with the private sector.