Every community has something to learn and something to teach. Here are some lessons you can steal TODAY to start making great places.
Check out these resources we co-authored with some great partners! Get ready to take action and learn about cities LIKE YOU making these changes today.
Since you may want to know more…
Transforming an appliance warehouse into a combination co-work space, performance venue, art gallery, and cafe takes more than just construction chops. It takes vision, hard work, and a deep and personal belief that this place matters.
Redevelopment means bringing a neighborhood back to life. And it’s hard to do. Really hard. When your Main Street or downtown is struggling, the idea of ever becoming a thriving place again can seem like a completely insurmountable challenge. But you can do it.
Every Saturday morning, the Cherry Street neighborhood in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma fills with a rainbow of flowers and produce, the smell of freshly baked bread and roasted coffee, and the sound of neighbors and families chatting. The neighborhood wasn’t always this thriving, though.
The economy is much different today than it was 50 years ago. But you wouldn’t necessarily know it based on some communities’ approach to economic development.
Tech companies are dazzling. Especially if you’re working on economic development in a small or mid-sized city. Yet not every city in the country should start by trying to be a tech hub. Your city probably has something more unique—and more valuable—to contribute. And that is the place to start.
You don’t have to be an expert to know that the retail industry is changing and it’s changing fast. Commerce is moving more and more online. Large anchor stores are closing. Distant malls are shuttered. Big box retail is shrinking. And property owners are struggling to fill storefronts in many places across the country.
Tourism is an economic cornerstone in many communities. It can attract visitors from across the country or the world, and serve as a major industry and employer. If tourism’s the only game in town, however, it can create problems that will be familiar to almost any tourist community.
Booming real estate values is a problem many cities wish they had. But ask any local leader experiencing a boom and they will tell you: it brings on whole new problems. The most commonly known one is that housing becomes unaffordable. What’s less commonly discussed is that commercial space becomes unaffordable too.
For every town in the midst of a real estate boom, there is a town close by that gets overlooked. This is the place without much going on. It’s the town with sparsely filled sidewalks and a few boarded-up storefronts, that some might think of as a little unsafe because of how empty it feels.
There’s probably not a single economic development plan in existence that lists “Have a bunch of vacant properties” in its recommendations for economic success. But every municipality in the country has vacant or even abandoned properties to deal with, and will need to address them in order to fully succeed.
Discovering Your City's Maker Economy, a new guide from National League of Cities (NLC), Etsy, Recast City and Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) makes the case for local elected officials to focus on the role of maker and small-scale manufacturing businesses in their local economy.
Smart community leaders recognize the importance of the small-scale manufacturing business sector but often still do not know where to find the community of owners.
Communities working with their small-scale manufacturing businesses made waves in 2016 and more places are aiming to do so in 2017. What trends can we expect to see in this sector in 2017?
Small-scale manufacturing business owners often face a challenge raising enough capital to scale regionally or nationally.
Financing affordable development for small-scale manufacturing is difficult in many of our cities and towns, but a few key tools can make a big difference both for non-profit and for-profit developers.
Local, small manufacturing businesses just might be key to bringing energy back to those struggling main streets. What if we found that putting those good jobs – businesses owned by our neighbors – back in the center of town would help bring more people downtown and onto main street?
Many communities require developers to set aside homes for affordable housing. But what about requiring developers to set aside affordable workspace for small-scale manufacturing businesses?
The textiles industry in the United States is changing, and coming back to a town (or neighborhood) near you. It will not look anything like the large-scale manufacturing of textiles of 20-50 years ago.
There is an exciting opportunity these days in the growth of local small-scale manufacturing businesses. And real estate developers and city governments are taking notice.
Industrial properties are scattered throughout our cities and towns. Many of these industrial spaces are filled with small manufacturing and production businesses, from carpentry to food production to hardware fabrication. They are the backbone of our local economies. Yet these businesses, and the buildings they are in, rarely garner the long-term investment that they merit.
Kyle is third generation in the family printing press business that opened in 1955. His family bought a 35,000 square foot warehouse for production near the intersection of I-75 and I-275 in Cincinnati 40 years ago to expand operations. But when printing work started to dry up after 2000, Kyle and his family started looking for a way to save the family business.
San Francisco just cracked open their toolbox to solve a problem vexing many cities right now – how to create more affordable space for local maker industries through the power of private sector development. Their recent city zoning change made this experiment possible, but it is only one tool that cities need to apply in an effort to create vibrant neighborhoods…
Ilana Preuss spoke at the 2014 Meeting of the Minds conference in Detroit, MI about the potential for small-scale manufacturing to help create stronger neighborhoods with more jobs and vibrant places.
There is a new opportunity in our changing cities to connect more residents with economic opportunity. We can do so by integrating small-scale industrial uses into our city development. Let’s call this mixed-use industrial real estate.