What if Global Trends Guided Rural Downtown Investment Strategies?

APA Colorado Chapter


Friday, October 6, 2017
8 a.m. - 9 a.m. MDT

CM | 1

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What if you knew the global trends that influence downtown growth and vibrancy? What if you had 9 waypoints to guide downtown revitalization project? What if you had strategies and action steps you could implement today in your downtown? This session will provide you with all of this and more! The presenters will share their research to help you take meaningful steps to updating your downtown area, no matter how big or small.

Learning Objectives

1. Global trends influencing downtown viability

2. Nine waypoints vital to the success of a downtown

3. Strategies communities large and small can implement to enhance the experience of their own downtown.


1)    Presentation of PUMA’s Global Trends research

2017 marks the tenth year that Progressive Urban Management Associates (P.U.M.A.) has conducted ground breaking research to identify the top global trends impacting American cities. Originally prepared for the Downtown Denver Plan to forecast our hometown’s growth, the P.U.M.A. Global Trends Report has subsequently been utilized in cities throughout the nation to support a variety of downtown planning, marketing and economic development initiatives. Broadening and deepening our research, the last two Trends Reports were created along with the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning. P.U.M.A.’s Global Trends Report was the recipient of the International Downtown Association’s President’s Award, acknowledging its value to the place management and downtown development fields.


The 2017 edition of P.U.M.A.’s Global Trends Report finds downtowns and urban districts benefiting from powerful market forces that have accelerated. Urban areas that once took decades to improve are transforming in a matter of years. The resulting urban renaissance is good news for city builders but is also presenting new challenges.


2)    Community Based Approach

Residents of rural communities tend to put the success of the community above all and they will support and defend their people, culture, and way of life. Given the sentiment toward planning, development, and gov­ernment in general, any suc­cessful project will implement an approach strongly centered on the community, understanding their concerns, meeting their needs, and gaining their trust and buy in. A community-based approach will offer insights into the attitudes of the residents. In their research on the subject, Wang and Pfister define attitudes as “a state of mind of the individual toward a value.” (Wang & Pfister, August 2008)


3)    9 Waypoints to a Downtown

A cross-section of literature covering rural development, rural tourism, rural econom­ic development and impact, and development of downtown centers was reviewed prior to developing the nine Waypoints. In addition to peer reviewed articles and other rural planning related literature, a number of case studies were reviewed for industry stan­dards and trends. The best practices are divided into nine waypoints which are essential considerations for the development of a walkable, vibrant, and economi­cally viable downtown in a rural context.


4)    Strategies for enhancing user experiences

Because each community is different with different goals, vision, and priorities, an important part of this presentation is to offer strategies the audience can take back to their community and simple, yet impactful changes to their downtown. For each of the 9 Waypoints, a set of strategies and action steps will be presented.



Wang, Y. & Pfister, R. E. (August 2008). Residents’ Attitudes Toward Tourism and Preceived Personal Bene­fits in a Rural Community. Journal of Travel Research, 84-93.

CM Criteria: The presentation is directly related to downtown planning and development by incorporating a number of planning objectives including economic development, land use, urban design, demographics, market analysis, and transportation planning. The material being presented is based on unbiased research which the participants will be able to utilize in their communities context.

The presenters have conducted extensive research on the subject in addition to a wide range of real-world experience. PUMA has extensive experience specializing in downtown revitalization. RG and Associates focuses their planning efforts on the unique needs and issues facing small, rural Colorado communities. Combining their knowledge and experience, this panel is viewed as subject matter experts in their fields.


The methodology to be used to meet the learning objectives will be power point presentations with graphics, examples, case studies, research findings, and case studies. The presentation will be followed by an opportunity for questions and answers.


John Folsom, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

J.J. Folsom leads placemaking planning and design services to create healthy places and more livable downtowns. He facilitates community outreach processes, conducts quantitative and qualitative best practice research and participates in strategic planning projects. A seasoned urban designer and transportation planner, J.J. brings 25 years of experience that ... Read More

Timothy Dlubac, AICP

Confirmed Speaker


Contact Info

Shelia Booth, sbooth@apacolorado.org