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What Makes a Good Main Street Work?

What Makes a Good Main Street Work? Kaid Benfield uses Corning, New York, to illustrate five key elements.
December 13, 2016, 10am PST | Hazel Borys
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Doug Kerr

"While some Main Streets seem well past their prime, others – like Corning, New York – remain thriving to this day. Why? A lot of it has to do with the towns and cities in which they are located, of course; it’s hard to have a well-functioning Main Street in a down-and-out community. But there are also elements of design and context that matter. What are they? The answers matter to sustainability, because traditional Main Streets tend to have central locations and good walkability, both of which reduce carbon and other emissions associated with driving; over time, they also recycle land, buildings and infrastructure."

Benfield muses on some essential elements for thriving Main Streets:

  1. A superior pedestrian experience
  2. Density, but at human scale
  3. Viable local businesses
  4. Nature
  5. Nearby residences

Market Street, Corning, New York, © Kaid Benfield

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Published on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 in PlaceShakers
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