Friday, July 10, 2009

What are other Chambers doing to help urban revitalization?

So I got curious the other day about what other Chamber's were doing to help the cities of their areas. Our intern, Ashley, was kind enough to do some research on the subject. The results were not surprising - many other Chamber's are actively involved in urban revitalization - though they seem to usually concentrate on it from a more business aspect. Here's a list that shows some of the results:

Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce: Waco, TX

-Waco is home to the first all green energy efficient Chamber building in the country.
Benchmarks for 2010:
-Increase the amount of housing, retail, restaurant and office development by 50% in downtown Waco.
-Break ground on at least two large-scale developments downtown.
-Increase home ownership in the city by 25%

Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce:
Most recent goals:
-Work to alleviate public policy barriers to neighborhood development
-Promote tax incentive programs that focus on urban development for members

Fairfield, Iowa Chamber of Commerce:
-Has joined with three local banks to offer a fund to exclusively benefit small and emerging businesses in downtown Fairfield. They will offer low-interest business loans of 5%

Roseville, California Chamber of Commerce:

Currently working on three projects including:
-Streetscape project in the historic district - Includes the development of new landscaping, new on-street parking, historic light fixtures, improved curbs, sidewalks and gutters
-Pedestrian friendly underpass- Improving an existing walkway which will connect two parts of town and improve the general appearance of the structure.

North End Chamber of Commerce - Boston, MA
Streetscape focus areas:
-Provide stores with more visibility for pedestrians by using store front transparency - increasing the size and number of display windows visible throught the day and night
-Expand street sidewalks by providing continuous flush curbs and increasing building heights
Public space improvements:
-Install city banners and hanging baskets on street poles
Public/Private sector:
-Increase police presence

Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce - McLean, IL
Current revitalization projects include:
Streetscape - brick pavers, new lighting and updated landscaping
Underground Utilities- moving utility lines underground
Public Sector- pedestrian safety includes the purchasing of new benches bus shelters

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