Growing Pains: Lessons from Naperville, Elmhurst, and Normal
Friday, September 15, 2017
10:45 a.m. - noon CDT
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Small downtowns have made quite a comeback from where they were 30-40 years ago. Since then downtown living, shopping, and entertainment are in high demand. Today, small downtowns are in various stages of recovery. Many are thriving, and some have even grown into larger downtowns. How can we account for this success, despite the competing retail venues and the challenges of urban infill?
How Small Downtowns Grow is an independent research project that examines the growth of three successful small downtowns over the past 15-20 years. It is based on interviews with city staff, developers and operators, as well as document research, and field research.
The goal is to understand how and why they grow (not just in size, but in value, activity, and regional draw), and to see if there are common lessons that can be applied to other municipalities seeking to grow their downtowns.
The session will include a presentation of the research findings, followed by a panel discussion with city planners from Elmhurst, Normal and Naperville.
Eileen Franz, AICP
Mercy Davison, AICP
Allison Laff, AICP
Steve Wilson, AICP
Trevor Dick, firstname.lastname@example.org