In the Summer 2015 Print Issue
Jun 04, 2015 05:41PM
By Erica Shames
Picking yourself up by your own bootstraps is never easy. We look to others, often, to do the work required to make things better.
Not so for downtowns recently recognized for their revitalization efforts. And they have no one to thank but their business, government and civic leaders—and their own hard work.
Danville, Lewisburg and Selinsgrove’s Main Street programs—Danville Business Alliance, Lewisburg Downtown Partnership and Selinsgrove Projects Inc.—are among 40 recently accredited by the National Main Street Center. This designation, overseen by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, is a pat on the back for success in turning the tide from downturns to upticks.
Our spring issue chronicled successes achieved in Lewisburg; in this issue, we delve into what makes Danville work—ever more successfully.
How do you enliven downtowns hampered by sprawl which decentralizes the living, shopping and recreating that once took place in a nucleus—downtown—and disperses it outside a town’s parameters? The effect is to draw people to shiny, new, wide open spaces often seen as more desirable and full of promise than an aging downtown.
The experts at the PA Downtown Center have crafted a four-point approach that includes design, promotion, organization and economic restructuring. Other than being community-driven, the particulars of how this formula is achieved and implemented are wide open. (See SusquehannaLife.com/Web-Extras for more information.)
Leaders in these 40 communities nationwide know something most of us don’t: with a concerted effort toward planning, education and community involvement downtowns can be brought back to life. In Lewisburg, it took Bucknell University and a committed business community and local government.
In Danville, the hope is that economic development will occur with help from Geisinger Health System, along with an emerging arts district, burgeoning business community and dedicated local government. It’s very much a work-in-progress but the excitement and promise there are palpable, as the article in this issue illustrates.
We hope you feel the pride we do in being part of these communities. And, if your hometown community is one still struggling for direction, that you’ll become involved. Look to one of these regional entities as a model of what your downtown can become. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. And no one will do it for us.
Residents along the Susquehanna River most certainly know it’s there – but how much do we really know about its history and ecology, and how our actions impact it? Read More »
It is a common-sense way to address the variety of issues and problems that challenge traditional business districts. Read More »
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