4.5. Case 5: Virginia ‘Main Street’ Design
In the case of Virginia, Main Street program has also been one of the pronounced developments that have seen a great stride in the advancements of city life management across multiple cities including the city of Nevada. Virginia introduced the Virginia Main Street Program since 1985 which has been assisting the localities in the vitalization of the economic important projects regarding the historic commercial divisions with very remarkable results. In the advent of Main Street program in Virginia, entrepreneurs have been opening new businesses while investors have also been investing their money into buildings that were once vacant for long periods of time. Besides, many tourists have been visiting new restaurants and shops while the city residents have also been enjoying an already renewed community pride.
Virginia has also integrated the Main Street Program with the Virginia Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program that has proven to be an essential economic tool for effective enhancement of the community lives. The Virginia’s Main Street approach in helping communities to revitalize efforts was established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center. It provides a national model which started as a three demonstration category of a town project in 1977 when retail sales had been moving into the shopping centers from the downtown on the outskirts of communities. Besides, the ‘Main Street America’ had also been deteriorating while the future historic downtowns seemed obsolete.
Successful show of the projects assisted the downtowns to advocate and formalize other revitalization strategies hence, constructing the needs for the adaptation of novel economic uses, coaching and training of the merchants. There was an interesting and new promotional efforts required to reposition other historic downtowns within the mindsets of the consumers. Like malls, the adoption of ‘Main Street’ however required strategic marketing initiative which was developed by National Main Street Center and later adopted by about 1,600 communities across 40 states through a mechanism called the Main Street Four Point Approach.
The guiding principles for the involved in the Main Street Four Point Approach were: promotion, Restructuring, Designs and Organization. The concept of design principle is focused to enhancing the physical appearances of the historic downtowns via a rehabilitation of the historic buildings in the city as well as encouragement of new constructions reinforcing charitable characters of the downtown. On the other hand, Promotion assists in creating and marketing positive images on the basis of unique traits of the downtown districts. The prospects of economic restructuring enhance the existing economic districts of the district besides expanding elaborately to resolve new challenges and utilize opportunities from the dynamic business environment. The organization develops a consensus and cooperation amongst all stakeholders in the downtown from the banks, civil organization, and downtown property proprietors to local government officials across the entire stretch of the cities.
The Main Street organizations also encompass several budgets, volunteers, population and staff sizes. Every community is charged with pursuit of comprehensive and incremental Four Points Approach with the local appropriate revitalization strategy for the old street or city layout. However, the last objectives were similar across the entire scope of the program mainly focused towards increasing business developments and job creations in the downtown. From 1985, there was a fully designated Main Street community within the Commonwealth that have generated about $600 million through private investments and completed about 4,500 rehabilitation projects. Besides, the project has also been associated with creating 13,500 new job opportunities through a set of 4,600 new business enterprises. From this analysis, it is clear that the Virginia Main Street Program has been one of the highly yielding projects within the scope of city developments. It has repositioned cities to take advantage of the swelling population which could have otherwise been a challenge to manage. The attraction of the city to new business opportunities have a direct impact on enhanced employment opportunities.
The development of concrete city layout based on the Main Street Program is a major initiative that is focused to tapping into the city wealth as far as population density is concerned. Just like in the case of the Mauritius, various aspects of the city are fundamental to enhancing tourism or otherwise. Many individuals alien to the Virginia are lured into the country and the cities across the state as tourists as well as potential investors. The long-term impact of these advances is increased job creation opportunities derived from the advance set in the projection of business ideals that are strongly entrenched in local culture and values of the locals.
In rare cases, the influx of new operatives such as the tourism and foreign investments also results into new inflows of values and cultural aspects that are distinct from the local culture and shapes their perceptions. This in turn determines the prospects and pace of city development. The existence of a well-designed program manipulated by professional designs helps in tapping positive elements associated with the development of robust business frameworks for the good of a country. Although several challenges arise from the Main Street programs particularly due to increased demand for accountability on immigration and city life organization, many benefits as indicated earlier are reaped by the local community and city residents in particular.
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