Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

National Travel and Tourism Week started this weekend

 Press release

One of my earliest blog entries, from February 2005, is about "town-city" branding.  I was heavily involved in the Main Street commercial district revitalization movement then, and I made a succinct point that "we are all destination managers now" because regardless of what consumer segment--residents, office workers, in-region visitors, out-of-region tourists (by definition, a tourist is someone who spends a night in an accommodation), we'd best focus on "managing" the quality of place.

And that making places great for residents also makes them attractive to others, that the revenue stream from tourism can be used to support local placemaking initiatives.

For example, while most of DC's tourism tax revenue stream (hotel taxes, restaurant taxes, arguably some of the parking taxes) pays for the Convention Center, it could be used more strategically to fund strategic improvement in culture and other placemaking initiatives, as well as for transit improvements.

I've written about that in terms of cultural planning, here:  "Cultural resources planning in DC: in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

But this book, Tourism Development Handbook: A Practical Approach to Planning and Marketing by Kerry Godfrey and Jackie Clarke, is an excellent resource on tourism planning and how to make tourism development work for local communities.

A different resource from Nova Scotia, the tourism development assessment workbook, is particularly good with regard to self-assessment (internal review and analysis) of communities.  While it's focused on tourism, I think it's relevant to commercial district revitalization too because a big problem with neighborhood- and community revitalization is that most people are focused on image building, community building and cheerleading--"we're great!"--rather than being honest about weaknesses and need for improvement, not just strengths.

In terms of its being relevant beyond tourism, the section on restaurants is just as relevant to locally-focused commercial district revitalization.

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At 3:42 AM, Anonymous Martin Dupond said...

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