An interesting article that relates to some of the Center for 21st Century Communities' (21c3) "eight assets" was just posted to the Ann Arbor Observer / Community Observer's website, arborweb.com. You can now link to "Downtown Rebound: As economy quakes, towns hold firm," by Shelley Daily. The article takes a look at how officials, business owners, and community leaders in Saline, Chelsea, and Dexter, Michigan are trying to leverage and strengthen some of what 21c3 is championing, and it discusses some of the challenges facing downtowns. The piece mentions a number of specific efforts related to things that we blog about on the 21c3 website, including streetscape improvements, downtown marketing projects, mixed use development, supporting the arts, culture, and local heritage, and more. The article also explores how local downtown businesses are faring. "With competition from big-box stores, malls, national franchises, and internet shopping, downtown merchants must often reinvent themselves or band together to market to customers old and new. In this effort, their historic settings and the uniqueness of their businesses are key advantages," the article reads. Read the article to find out what people in Saline, Chelsea, and Dexter think about what it takes to "hold firm" through a tough economy.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info