Downtown Revitalization: Rural Information Center

United States Department of Agriculture Rural Information Center

Downtown Revitalization

Contents

Image: Small Town Main Street

Introduction

Many rural communities are engaged in revitalization efforts to renew downtown areas and restore them to their former prominence as a center of community activity. This guide links to full-text handbooks, planning tools, case studies, funding resources, organizations, revitalization strategies, and more to assist a community considering a downtown revitalization project.

This guide was orignally prepared by Patricia LaCaille John, June 2005.
This resource guide was revised April, 2014.
Rural Information Center Publication Series; no. 71 2005. Beltsville, MD.

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this publication (or page) is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the United States Department of Agriculture or the Agricultural Research Service of any product or service to the exclusion of others that maybe suitable.
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Community Planning Resources

  1. Downtown and Business District Market Analysis: Using Market Data and Geographic Information Systems to Identify Economic Opportunities in Small Cities. Madison: University of Wisconsin-Extension, Center for Community Economic Development, 2004. http://fyi.uwex.edu/downtown-market-analysis/

  2. The Role of Local Industries in Downtown Economic Revitalization. Community Preparedness & Resiliency, Newsletter. February, 2014. Madison, WI: Center for Community & Economic Development, University of Wisconsin Extension. http://cced.ces.uwex.edu/2014/02/06/the-role-of-local-industries-in-downtown-economic-revitalization/

  3. Downtown Planning for Small and Mid-Sized Communities. Philip L. Walker. 17th Annual Rural Development Conference. Cookeville, TN. April 12th, 2012 http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/TN-RDCon-Walker.pdf [PDF File]

  4. Citizens' Institute on Rural Design. Web resource that is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces, Inc., along with the Orton Family Foundation and the CommunityMatters® Partnership. http://www.rural-design.org/


Downtown Revitalization

  1. 10 Reasons Why Maine's Homegrown Economy Matters and 50 Proven Ways to Revive It. Stacy Mitchell. Belfast, ME: Maine Businesses for Social Responsibility, 2004. 56 p. http://www.newrules.org/retail/mainelocaleconomy.pdf [PDF File]

  2. City Beautiful: Establishing Community Redevelopment Areas in Florida. Melva Macfie, Karen Zagrodny. Gainesville: Conservation Clinic, College of Law, University of Florida, 1999. 24 p. http://www.law.ufl.edu/_pdf/academics/centers-clinics/clinics/conservation/resources/city_beautiful.pdf [PDF File]

  3. "Community development in rural America: the power to exchange capital resources in Norton County, Kansas.. Monier, Janis Pabst. Dissertation, August 2011. Kansas State University Library. URL for this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2097/9970

  4. Continuing Education Needs in the Last Green Valley: A Natural Resource, Land Use, & Community Design Needs Assessment. Susan P. Westa, C. Benjamin Tyson, Stephen H. Broderick, Paula Stahl. Jounral of Extension. Vol. 45 No. 5, Article # 5EFA9, October 2007. http://www.joe.org/joe/2007october/a9p.shtml

  5. "Downtown Revitalization: Cities Search for Solutions." EconSouth, No. 3 (1999): 5 p. http://www.frbatlanta.org/invoke.cfm?objectid=87B687D8-6666-11D5-93390020352A7A95&method=display

  6. A Local Official's Guide to Developing Better Community Post Offices. Paul Bruhn, Emily Wadhams, Karen Horn. Burlington, VT: The Preservation Trust of Vermont, 2001. 38 p. http://www.ptvermont.org/publications/pobook.pdf [PDF File]

  7. "Organizing for Central Business District Revitalization." Gregory A. Davis. Journal of Extension. 37, No. 2 (1999): 4 p. http://www.joe.org/joe/1999april/iw2.html

  8. Rehabilitating Historic Storefronts. H. Ward Jandl. Preservation Briefs 11. Washington, DC: Technical Preservation Services, National Park Service, 1982. http://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs/11-storefronts.htm

  9. Revitalizing Maine's Downtowns. Augusta: Maine Downtown Center and the Maine State Planning Office, 2004. 33 p. http://www.mdf.org/publications/Revitalization-Maines-Downtowns/113/

  10. Turning Around Downtown: Twelve Steps to Revitalization. Christopher B. Leinberger. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 2005. 23 p. http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2005/03/downtownredevelopment-leinberger

  11. Welcome Back Downtown: A Guide to Revitalizing Pennsylvania's Small Downtowns. Martin Shields, Tracey Farrigan. Harriburg: The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, n.d. 28 p. http://www.rural.palegislature.us/downtown.pdf [PDF File]


Business Improvement Districts

  1. Business Improvement Districts and Innovative Service Delivery. Jerry Mitchell. Arlington, VA: PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government, 1999. 32 p. http://www.businessofgovernment.org/sites/default/files/Mitchell.pdf [PDF File]

  2. Central Business District - Downtown Development Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington (M.R.S.C.). Updated 04/2012.http://www.mrsc.org/subjects/econ/ed-cbd.aspx

  3. Promoting Retail to Revitalize Downtowns: An Examination of the Business Improvement District Idea. Devika Gopal. Boston: Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003. 153 p.


Case Studies, Best Practices, Model Programs

  1. Brownfields Success Stories. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,Updated March 2012. http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/success/index.htm

  2. Downtown Rebound. Rebecca R. Sohmer, Robert E. Lang. Washington, DC: Fannie Mae Foundation, 2001. 10 p. http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2001/05/downtown-sohmer

  3. Downtown Revitalization: Pipestone. Washington, DC: National Park Service. 3 p. http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/pipestone/revitalization.htm

  4. Downtown Revitalization in Urban Neighborhoods and Small Cities. Barbara Wells. Washington, DC: Northeast-Midwest Institute, n.d., 18 p. http://www.nemw.org/images/stories/documents/DowntownRevital.pdf [PDF File]

  5. Extension-Led Economic Development Model - A Recipe for Success. Journal of Extension, Vol. 51, No. 2, Article # 2FEA5, April 2013. http://www.joe.org/joe/2013april/a5.php

  6. Sustainable Rural Development Case Studies. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development. Last Modifed 05/17/2013. http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SustainableRuralCommunities.html

  7. Virbrant Rural Communities: Case Studies. NADO Research Foundation, Brett Schwartz. Posted December 10, 2012. http://www.nado.org/vibrant-rural-communities-case-study-series/


Funding Sources

The following resources provide a general look at funding sources for economic development efforts. Consult grant writing resources, http://ric.nal.usda.gov/funding-resources/rural-funding-sources and A Guide to Funding Resources http://www.nal.usda.gov/ric/ricpubs/fundguide.html for assistance in preparing successful proposals and in obtaining funding applications and information for obtaining a DUNS number that is required of all organizations/entities applying for a federal grant or cooperative agreement.

Federal Funding Databases

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). CFDA is an Internet database containing information about all federal domestic programs including federal grants, loans, insurance, and training programs; information is available on eligibility, application procedures, selection criteria, and deadlines. https://www.cfda.gov

The Federal Funding Sources for Rural Areas Database is an Internet database containing information about rural federal domestic programs including federal grants, loans, and cooperative agreement programs; information is available on eligibility, application procedures, contacts, and deadlines. http://ric.nal.usda.gov/Rural-Federal-Funding-Database

Federal Programs

The following federal programs and private funding sources represent a sample of the resources available. For additional sources consult A guide to Funding Resources: http://nal.usda.gov/ric/ricpubs/fundguide.html. This online guide contains links to numerous funding sources including federal, state, and private funding databases, state foundation guides, and grant writing resources and information.

Appalachian Regional Commission

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Commerce

  • Economic Development Administration, http://www.eda.gov/, provides assistance to rural communities through a variety of programs including the Public Works and Economic Development Facilities Program.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. Department of Transportation

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • Brownfields and Land Revitalization "Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands." http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/index.html

Additional Funding Resources



Journals

Appalachia Magazine
Appalachian Regional Commission
1666 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20235
202-884-7700
Email: info@arc.gov
Web: http://www.arc.gov/appalachia

Downtown Digest
Downtown Research & Development Center
712 Main Street, Suite 187B
Boonton, NJ 07005
800-232-4317
Email: info@DowntownDevelopment.com
Web: http//www.downtowndevelopment.com

Journal of Housing & Community Development
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
630 Eye St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
877-866-2476
Email: nahro@nahro.org
Web: http://www.nahro.org/housing-journal

Journal of the Community Development Society
17 South High St., Suite 200
Columbus, OH 43215
614-221-1900
Email: CDS@assnoffices.com
Web: http://www.comm-dev.org/publications/cds-journal

Main Street News: The Journal of the National Trust Main Street Center
National Main Street Center
1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-588-6219
Email: mainstreet@nthp.org
Web: http://www.preservationnation.org/main-street/main-street-news/

Planning
American Planning Association
205 North Michigan Ave.
Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60601
312-431-9100
Email: CustomerService@planning.org
Web: http://www.planning.org/planning/

Preservation Magazine
National Trust for Historic Preservation
1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
1-800-944-6847
202-588-6000
Web: http://www.preservationnation.org/magazine/

Public Management (PM)
International City/County Management Association
777 North Capitol St., NE
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20002
202-289-4262 (prompt zero)
Email: subscriptions@icma.org
Web: http://icma.org/en/press/pm_magazine/subscribe

Public Works Magazine
Hanley Wood, LLC
One Thomas Circle
NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
888-269-8410
Email: pw@omeda.com
Web: http://www.pwmag.com/table-of-contents/the-magazine.aspx


Organizations

American Planning Association
205 North Michigan Ave.
Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60601
312-431-9100
Web: http://www.planning.org/

A non-profit, public interest group that focuses on research, policy, education and information dissemination for practicing planners, officials, and citizens involved with urban and rural planning issues. Also has the Small Towns and Rural Planning Division with specific small town focus.

Downtown Research & Development Center
712 Main Street, Suite 187B
Boonton, NJ 07005
800-232-4317
Email: info@DowntownDevelopment.com
Web: http://www.DowntownDevelopment.com

Analyzes and reports on downtown problems and solutions. Conducts research, publishes books, reports and studies, holds seminars and workshops and acts as the international clearinghouse on downtown revitalization.

International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
777 North Capital Street, NE, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20002
202-289-4262
Web: http://www.icma.org/

The "professional and educational organization representing appointed managers and administrators in local governments." Services include: annual conference; publications; research; and special focused initiatives that include brownfields, sustainable communities, Intelligent transportation systems, performance measurement, military base reuse smart growth and best practices symposium are just some of the many programs.

International Downtown Association
1025 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW
Suite 500W Washington, DC 20007
202-393-6801
Email: question@ida-downtown.org
Web: http://www.ida-downtown.org/

"Dedicated to the revitalization of downtown areas and their adjacent neighborhoods. Focuses its programs on effective management of downtowns, including retailing, security, maintenance, physical design, business development, transportation, culture and entertainment."

National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT)
1130 Connecticut Ave.
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
866-830-0008
Web: http://www.natat.org

Provides technical assistance, educational services, and public policy support to local government officials of small communities across the country. Conducts research and develops public policy recommendations to help improve the quality of life in small communities.

National Main Street Center
1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-588-6219
Email: mainstreet@nthp.org
Web: Web: http://www.preservationnation.org/main-street/

Assists states, communities and citizens in the revitalization of business districts within a preservation context. Provides information and consultation on downtown revitalization, through technical assistance, the National Main Street Network, conferences, products and Main Street Certification Institute.

Regional Rural Development Centers

The four regional centers, http://rrdc.info/ coordinate rural development research and extension education through out the United States. They focus on social and economic problems common to rural areas of the region through a cooperative multi disciplinary effort, including financing, public services, fiscal analyses and leadership roles. They studies economic development, improved community facilities and services, capacity building and natural resources.

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development
Michigan State University
Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture
Michigan State University
446 W. Circle Drive, Room 66
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-355-3373
Web: http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/

Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development
The Pennsylvania State University
7 Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802-5602
814-863-4656
Web: http://aese.psu.edu/nercrd

Southern Rural Development Center
Mississippi State University
Box 9656
190 Bost-North (postal delivery)
Mississippi State, MS 39762
662-325-3207
Web: http://srdc.msstate.edu/

Western Rural Development Center
Utah State University
4880 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-4880
435-797-2798
Email: wrdc@usu.edu
Web: http://wrdc.usu.edu/


USDA, Rural Information Center
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Ave., Room 123
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
ric@ars.usda.gov
800-633-7701