Small Towns Prioritize Main Street for Economic and Population Growth

Downtown revitalization can be a small town planning priority too.

1 minute read

May 7, 2019, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Main Street

EQRoy / Shutterstock

Cinnamon Janzer reports on a "renewed nationwide focus on small-town downtowns and Main Streets," exploring the recent planning work of Bozeman, Montana as a primary example.

Bozeman in April approved the Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan, Janzer reports, which employs five principles to achieve desired population and economic growth: "maintaining downtown as the heart of Bozeman — yet focusing on more than just the Main Street Historic District. Ensuring that downtown is walkable and accessible. Designing downtown to be welcoming to everyone. And connecting it to both nature and culture."

Other examples are readily available, Janzer notes: "North Dakota’s newest governor ran on a platform that centered on a Main Street Initiative with the slogan “Putting Main Street to Work” at its helm. The tiny town of Water Valley, Mississippi (population 3,362), began an effort to revitalize its Main Street in 2016 that included restoring historic buildings and turning vacant buildings into new businesses."

Friday, May 3, 2019 in Next City

Aerial view of homes on green hillsides in Daly City, California.

Depopulation Patterns Get Weird

A recent ranking of “declining” cities heavily features some of the most expensive cities in the country — including New York City and a half-dozen in the San Francisco Bay Area.

April 10, 2024 - California Planning & Development Report

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

A view straight down LaSalle Street, lined by high-rise buildings with an El line running horizontally over the street.

Chicago to Turn High-Rise Offices into Housing

Four commercial buildings in the Chicago Loop have been approved for redevelopment into housing in a bid to revitalize the city’s downtown post-pandemic.

April 10, 2024 - Chicago Construction News

Woman with long hair wearing Covid mask sitting on underground train station bench looking at her watch as subway train approaches in background at Hollywood/Western station in Los Angeles, California.

How California Transit Agencies are Addressing Rider Harassment

Safety and harassment are commonly cited reasons passengers, particularly women and girls, avoid public transit.

April 17 - The American Prospect

Nighttime view of wildfire in Los Angeles hills.

Significant Investments Needed to Protect LA County Residents From Climate Hazards

A new study estimates that LA County must invest billions of dollars before 2040 to protect residents from extreme heat, increasing precipitation, worsening wildfires, rising sea levels, and climate-induced public health threats.

April 17 - Los Angeles Times

Bird's eye view of oil field in New Mexico desert.

Federal Rule Raises Cost for Oil and Gas Extraction on Public Lands

An update to federal regulations raises minimum bonding to limit orphaned wells and ensure cleanup costs are covered — but it still may not be enough to mitigate the damages caused by oil and gas drilling.

April 17 - High Country News

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.