Friday, November 16, 2007

Transition, Change and your Main Street Program

I have some interesting information that was given to me by Geoff Brace, Eastern Regional Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Downtown Center. It pertains to Main Street committees and their evolution.

If you volunteer for a Main Street program, I'm sure that you know that this is not an overnight process. Urban revitalization takes a long time and requires years to be truly effective. In the short-term, it may seem like nothing is happening. In the long run, however, a properly executed Main Street revitalization effort can completely change your downtown.

Below are the three distinct phases of Main Street programs. This information is particularly interesting to me, given the timing of our BBRP program. We are only a few months into our third year, which is right on the cusp of the two phases. See below for more information...

Catalyst Phase: The organization is first created. During this phase, the organization learnes basic revitalization skills, builds collaborative partnerships and establishes a credible presence in the comminity (Years 1 - 4).

Growth Phase: During this phase, most of the major activities of the organization take place. Major renovation projects take place as well (Years 3-8).

Management Phase: With most of the major activities completed, the major activity of the organization becomes the maintenance already realized gains. The group constantly monitors the marketplace and helps the district make the necessary economic adjustments. It ensures that the district is well maintained and continues to stimulate physical improvements and economic innovations (Years 8 and beyond).

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