Main Streets

In Planning, Reality Can Be Worse Than Fiction

The Showtime Series Penny Dreadful portrays a bleak vision of 1940s Los Angeles. But, unencumbered by regulations and zoning laws, it also displays what great urban neighborhoods can look like.

May 18, 2020 - California Planning & Development Report

Coronavirus Social Distancing

Reopening Main Street

A Long Beach-based urban design firm shares design tips for reopening main streets while balancing public health and economic concerns—making space for parklets, pedestrians, and al fresco dining.

May 10, 2020 - studioneleven

Downtown North Little Rock

Resurrecting the Classic American Main Street

In an interview, urbanism scholar Emily Talen discusses what it would take to restore "main street principles" to American towns and cities. Understandably, small retailers play a big role.

March 30, 2018 - Sidewalk Talk

Traffic Light

Speed-Camera Dispute Points to Larger Planning Issue

In recent months, a massive speed-camera program has been causing quite a stir in the tiny town of Elmwood Place, Ohio.

August 26, 2013 - Atlantic Cities

Frederick Maryland

America's Biggest Small Town Comebacks

Jordan Rane profiles 8 historic towns from across the country that have overcome significant challenges to become desirable destinations once again.

March 14, 2013 - CNN

Empty Main Street

Should We Let Main Streets Disappear?

Kaid Benfield pens a provocative column in which he suggests that the traditional American Main Street is a thing of the past, and may no longer fit our modern retail economy. Are traditional main streets still worth preserving and emulating?

February 4, 2013 - NRDC Switchboard

How Can the UK Revive its Main Streets?

Despite their more traditional, mixed-use development patterns, the UK's town centers are not immune from declining "high streets" as a result of the poor economy, and the attractions of shopping centers and online retail. How can they fight back?

January 11, 2013 - The Guardian

Celebrating America's Top Main Streets

Writing in Travel + Leisure, Wayne Curtis surveys 15 of America's greatest Main Streets.

April 19, 2012 - Travel + Leisure

Pinning Hopes on Theatres to Bring People Downtown

Canadian cities are increasingly investing in cultural centers in their downtowns in order to create attract people and spur investment.

December 7, 2011 - The Globe and Mail

The Town That Hugged New Urbanism

Sharon McMillan explains how her town - Unionville, Ontario - gave New Urbanism "a great big hug" back in the 1970s, and has benefited ever since.

May 28, 2011 - New Urban Network

The Best "Chains on Main"

The Commercial District Advisor and LISC have selected five businesses as "The Best Chains on Main", recognizing their commitment to economic revitalization and dedication to improving their communities.

January 13, 2011 - The Commercial District Advisor

A Model of Main St. Revitalization

Roberta Brandes Gratz pays a visit to Mt. Morris, New York, a town that many are looking at as a prime example of economic revitalization.

November 9, 2010 - Citiwire.net

Main Street, U.S.A.

Rick Wright is the Executive Director of MainStreet Oceanside, and is attending the California Downtown Association conference. But Rick also edits MiceChat, a blog for Disney obsessives, and this week he features Main Streets, Disney and otherwise.

October 4, 2010 - MiceChat

Main Streets Revitalized

The Project for Public Spaces has begun to publicize improvements it has made to main streets across the country with a new web feature, reports Kaid Benfield.

July 9, 2010 - Sustainable Cities Collective

A Report from Main Street, O.K.

The National Main Street Conference was in Oklahoma City last week. Bob Phipps, a retail consultant, talks about what he got out of the event.

May 14, 2010 - The Oklahoman

How Trying Too Hard Messes Up Main Street

March 11, 2010 - Scott Doyon

Tough Choices in Pleasantville, NY

Pleasantville, NY may be affluent and amenity-rich, but it isn't immune to the economic downturn. Now some suggest the town should sacrifice character for economic opportunity.

February 16, 2010 - New York Times

Life is a Two-Way Street

Vancouver, Washington's Main St. had languished for years, until city officials turned the street back to two-way traffic. Everyone was surprised at how much difference it made.

December 15, 2009 - Governing Magazine

Lack of Curb Appeal Hurts Dowtown

In Ashtabula, Ohio, City Manager Tony Cantagallo is incensed that a handful of downtown businesses neglecting their storefronts are holding back the attempts to revitalize Main Avenue.

November 29, 2009 - The Star Beacon

What Does Main Street Look Like?

What does Main Street America look like today? A journalist, a public radio producer, and two Harvard PhD students set out to visit actual Main Streets across the country to find out.

October 26, 2009 - WorldChanging

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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.