This certificate program from the Pratt Institute in New York City provides professionals and advanced/graduate-level students the introductory knowledge and skills required to meet the needs of government, business and non-profits to plan, design, and implement efforts for the Downtown Revitalization of their communities, and their Main Streets/Commercial Corridor Districts, etc., and to help meet the goals of federal, state and local programs such as U.S. HUD—Community Development Block Grants, and the NYS Office of Community Renewal’s New York Main Street Program, NYC-Small Business Service’s Storefront Improvement Program, etc.
This program introduces cutting-edge best practices, case studies, and tools and is of particular value to architects, urban designers, and planners (both private-sector and public-sector/municipalities), Main Street Managers, Business Improvement Districts (B.I.D.’s) and their staffs, Chambers of Commerce and community planning groups, graduate–level students, and many more. A healthy downtown is both a symbol of community pride and history, and a civic and social center for positive interaction.
Current issues include:
- Preserving the scale and character of our downtowns and Main Street communities;
- Helping to encourage and maintain small, independent (“mom and pop”) businesses;
- Revitalization and restoration of downtowns, improving the aesthetics of facades, signage, awnings, etc.;
- Improve streetscape and traffic (*safety)/street intersection-crossing improvements;
- Pedestrian and bicycle improvements, civic plazas and placemaking; and
- Historic preservation.
Students will learn how to assess, organize, plan and implement design and revitalization efforts into the Downtown/Main Street districts of their communities. A specific two-part (14-hour) “Downtown/Main Street Strategy” course(s) will allow (actually require) students to actually apply and implement what they learn from ALL eight courses in this program—to the downtown/Main Street district of their own town or neighborhood district.
Students will design and present their own project (of their own Downtown/Main Street District) during the program—culminating in a Final Review at the end of the Capstone course (two-part: “Downtown/Main Street Strategy” courses).