A nationally-proven model, customized for success in Connecticut’s downtowns and village centers.
CMSC is a proud member of the Main Street America, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We help our member communities tailor the Four Point Approach to Downtown Revitalization™, currently utilized in over 2,000 communities, to meet our members’ individual needs. Developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the program advances economic and community development within the context of historic preservation, and advocates public-private partnerships to ensure lasting success. The Four Point Approach™ is about increasing the value of your downtown:
- Organization: Focusing on consensus and cooperation, we help build a framework for sensible, community-driven programming – matching a community’s assets to its potential.
- Promotion: Enhancing the image of downtown through retail promotions, special events and branding. Increasing the social value of downtown will increase the economic value of the district.
- Design: Improving the physical value and appeal of downtown through both new construction and rehabilitation of historic and under-utilized buildings. We encourage design of public spaces for walking and gathering.
- Economic Restructuring: Increasing the economic value by encouraging diversity among current and new businesses suitable to the unique needs of a particular marketplace.
The Main Street Approach also relies on 8 Principles to produce fundamental change in traditional commercial business districts:
- Comprehensive – A single project cannot revitalize a downtown – an ongoing series of initiatives builds community support and creates lasting progress.
- Incremental – Small projects make a big difference. They hone the skills and confidence of program participants and demonstrate that things are happening on Main Street.
- Local commitment – Although CT Main Street Center provides valuable assistance, local leadership, and community involvement are necessary for long-term success.
- Public / Private Partnership – Each sector has an important role to play, and each must understand the other’s needs, strengths, and limitations so that an effective partnership can be created.
- Existing Assets – A crucial first step is to identify the assets that make a particular downtown unique. Capitalizing on these assets provides the solid foundation for a successful Main Street initiative.
- Quality – Must be the goal in every aspect of renewal, from storefront design to promotional campaigns. Quality builds respect and confidence.
- Change – Bringing back Main Street requires changing people’s attitudes and behavior as well as the environment. Community members must learn to see Main Street as a viable center of commercial and civic activity and then must incorporate Main Street into their regular routines.
- Implementation-Oriented – Frequent, visible changes in the look and activities of the commercial district reinforces the perception of positive change. Small, but dramatic improvements early in the process will remind the community that the revitalization effort is under way.