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5 Tips To Create A Sustainable Downtown

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Sustainable downtowns—i.e. downtowns that understand their community’s needs and have the resources to adapt when necessary—rely on community input, outside help, and a sense of future direction. We've gathered five tips that will help you create a sustainable downtown in your area.


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5 Tips To Create A Sustainable Downtown

  2. 2. 1. Create a good foundation. Sustainability programs work best when they are community-led. Hold brainstorming sessions and town hall meetings. Early involvement will help identify initial needs and create excitement.
  3. 3. 2. Determine what the community wants. Identify community stakeholders. A broad coalition reinforces the community-wide imperative. Identify a project lead to manage the local effort.
  4. 4. 3. Identify existing programs and incentives. Many organizations such as utility companies and local governments offer sustainability programs with incentives or tips to better manage a sustainable downtown.
  5. 5. 4. Create a sustainability plan. Create a project wish list. Plan for mini-projects as well as long-term projects. Don’t forget to establish timelines and deadlines to maintain momentum.
  6. 6. 5. Implement your idea. Plan a kick-off event to generate excitement around sustainability and to attract potential investment. For longer-term projects, set up clear goals. After the completion of each event, evaluate what worked and what didn’t, and adjust accordingly.
  7. 7. The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America’s historic places. Preservation Tips & Tools helps others do the same in their own communities. For more information, visit SavingPlaces.org. Zach Ellerbrook/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; Paul Sableman/Flickr/CC BY 2.0; miss money/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; Peyri Herrera/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0; teofilo/Flickr/CC BY 2.0.