Main Street America is a network 1,600 neighborhoods and commercial districts that share a commitment to building stronger communities.

The “Main Street Approach” is centered around forming a focused and deliberate plan for revitalizing a downtown or commercial district’s economy. The approach has an explicit focus on the communities historic assets such as buildings, parks, or riverfronts.

Some of a smaller legacy city’s biggest physical assets can be found in their historic downtowns. These downtowns, however, have often fallen victim to high vacancy rates and years of disinvestment.

Local leaders who want to revitalize their urban cores can follow the Main Street’s “Four Points”:

  1. Focusing on capital, incentives, and other financial tools to catalyze development.
  2. Enhancing a community’s physical and visual assets, especially those that set it apart from other places.
  3. Promoting the downtown as the center/focus of the community.
  4. Organizing to create an inclusive revitalization effort that involves the community.

More information on Main Street’s methods and how to start a local program can be found on Main Street America’s website.