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Our Future Main Streets: Flexibility, Inclusion, Experience

December 14, 2021


As the Covid-19 pandemic has forced cities to open their streets into laboratories of shared use, what have we learned about the Main Streets that form the downtown cores of our communities? What is the future of the storefront, sidewalks, and public spaces in these small, urban ecosystems? How are ground floor occupancy models shifting towards experiential programing and community spaces? How can we design our Main Streets as more inclusive places that nurture a diverse business ownership?

In this webinar hosted by Future of Small Cities Institute you’ll hear from a range of folks involved in the design of future Main Streets, including Lindsey Wallace of Main Street America, who will provide you with some national trends in Main Streets across the country; Zoraida Lopez-Diago of the Scenic Hudson’s River Cities program, who will discuss Main Street community collaboration across cities in the Hudson Valley; Mayor Steve Noble of Kingston, NY, who will talk about the challenge of nurturing sustainable and equitable Main Streets in a post-industrial small city landscape, and what city officials can do to encourage community development; Rusul Alrubail of the Parkdale Centre for Innovation in Toronto, which has done a bunch of innovative work in establishing inclusive Main Streets and encouraging BIPOC business ownership and entrepreneurship; and Kristin Diotte, Director of Planning in Schenectady, NY, who will locate the different kinds of Main Streets we see in cities, from heavily trafficked downtown corridors, to neighborhood streets, and how we can repair and maintain these corridors. Main Streets are changing alongside our cities and the possibilities are exciting.