Chicago-based National Main Street Center (NMSC) and Project for Public Spaces (PPS) recently announced it will begin “Cultivating Place in Main Street Communities” training sessions in five states to help communities revitalize their downtown business districts.
With hopes of reaching 175 communities through its first training cycle, the two nonprofits plan to partner with organizations representing 35 towns in Alabama, Connecticut, Missouri, Montana and Oregon during the first half of the year.
"The community is always the expert,” PPS President and Founder Fred Kent said. "These trainings offer simple ways to take better advantage of the talents, resources and assets that already exist in these places."
Humanitarian groups and federal agencies will play a part in the program structured to provide local stakeholders intensive training with an emphasis on strategy and public space improvement. Attendees will learn to recognize and implement ways to revitalize their communities through what NMSC calls Placemaking.
"As a citizen-led process, Placemaking is a powerful, affordable, and effective way to activate downtowns and community gathering places,” NMSC President and CEO Patrice Frey said. "The community engagement and momentum generated by Placemaking is essential in generating longer-term positive economic outcomes across America’s main streets."
NMSC is a membership-based nonprofit helping U.S. communities rejuvenate their historic downtowns and business districts, creating vibrant, people-centered places to inhabit, work, and play.