Downtowns have lives like you and me. Some downtowns are young and growing, others are in the prime of life, firing on all cylinders. Some are like teenagers still figuring out what they want to be when they grow up. Where your downtown is in its life dictates what it needs to get to its next stage of growth.
Young downtowns, like teenagers, need direction and focus. Some teens feel lost and wonder about their place in the world. Downtowns are no different. Some downtowns may have had success, but watched it wane in the face or market changes. Others are new and have never found their way. They need to figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and develop a plan for success.
Downtowns that are successful can celebrate their prosperity. But no downtown should rest on its laurels. Just like a professional in the prime of her life cannot rely on yesterday’s victories to guarantee more of the same tomorrow. The professional will take stock of her skills and relationships, and work to improve and evolve as the world around her evolves. Great downtowns too must understand that they need to continually transform to remain great.
Where is your downtown in its life?
Rob Bacigalupi helped build one of the premier downtowns in the Midwest