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Old 11-20-2007, 10:56 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
4 posts, read 14,360 times
Reputation: 11

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In your opinion, what is the best way for your average citizen to encourage/sustain small-town revitalization efforts, especially here in NC where a lot of industry has packed up and left? What steps could one take to become more active in the preservation of neighborhoods/parks/downtowns, etc? Obviously, attending town hall/city council meetings, joining preservation/historical societies, and starting grassroots movements can go a long way to helping. Does anyone have any experience doing any of these things? Successful or otherwise? Any other thoughts?

Thanks!

Last edited by lyam; 11-20-2007 at 11:21 AM..
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:02 PM
 
4,899 posts, read 16,624,604 times
Reputation: 3822
i would say patronize the local businesses and have others do the same. invite freinds downtown, and play up how great it is.
also try to start town traditions like during holidays or even a special day in the town's history and have them advertized ahead of time so people see it and make plans to attend.
how about a mass yard sale or clean up where everyone makes their front yards pretty--but like a game where everyone will get involved and make their homes and neighborhoods nicer.

also try to convince people to make their town great for their own entertainment and so that their children dont have to look elsewhere as they get older

Last edited by findinghope; 11-20-2007 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,371 posts, read 9,865,001 times
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Oh my gosh, you've touched on a topic close to my heart...I've attended lots of workshops and read reams of articles and written a few articles about this. Would love to do some consulting on this with NC towns, too.

First of all, bless your heart for wanting to do this! If more citizens got involved and infused their towns with their good energy, mountains could be moved.

In brief, this is what I've seen that works:

-A dept. needs to be set up and funded (if there's not one) for revitalization.
-Involve as many citizens as possible.
-Figure out how to get/keep young people and elders involved
-A Main Street Program needs to be instituted.
-A historic district helps.
-Attracting artists and Cultural Creatives though financial incentives is a great tool (see what Paducah KY has done).
-Branding the town and presenting its assets vibrantly and strongly.
-Clean up the natural resources (parks, rivers, streams, forests).
-Provide walking and biking trails (Rails to Trails).
-Develop and promote public gathering places, i.e. coffee shops, community centers.

I could go on and on, but maybe those ideas for starters? Love small towns, moved to a small NC town from a metro area and love, love, love it here! Small towns have so much to offer.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Little Dolphin
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