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Creating a Sense of Place to Improve Economic Growth

Creating a Sense of Place to Improve Economic Growth

Some community assets are completely intangible, and yet vitally important to economic health. Creating a sense of place helps to build pride in a community and can be a valuable asset for attracting visitors. The feeling that people get when they visit a community or the branding they imagine when they think of your town is one key to economic growth and sustainability. 

Three Options for Creating a Sense of Place

1. Brighten Up Storefronts and Signage

The first option to making the area more attractive to visitors is to invest in new storefronts and brighter, more creative and inviting signage. For example, the town of Red Deer, Alberta, is looking into utilizing government grants to:

  • Spruce up exteriors
  • Add signs
  • Reduce crime through better environmental design

Many places are memorable as a result of the attention to storefronts and careful upkeep of downtown areas. Residents and out-of-town guests will want to visit, take pictures in front of attractive stores, and explore interesting, well-lit, bright storefronts. The attractiveness of a downtown area plays a role in its economic growth, so anything you can do to obtain grants or funding to brighten up storefronts will be a huge benefit.

2. Increase Downtown Walkability

Increase Downtown WalkabilityA city’s walkability also provides an element to creating a sense of place. The pedestrian-only cobblestone streets of Oxford UK are iconic and help to create that town’s rich sense of place. Similarly, in Canada the car-free village of Mont-Tremblant, at the bottom of the ski hill, is a place people love to frequent on holiday. 

Providing your downtown with an identifiable town centre or public square adds to the appeal of your particular place. The increase in foot traffic in pedestrian-only areas also helps to support local businesses. 

3. Invest in an Affordable BR+E Initiative to Focus Efforts

Finally, determine - in as little as 10 week - which businesses in your community need your help the most. You can focus your sense-of-place improvement efforts on and around the businesses that require the most help. 

Triage BR+ETM gathers local business data for you quickly and affordably. Use the real-time data and the actionable plan from Triage BR+ETM to inform your economic growth strategy for creating a sense of place

See the Triage BR+ETM Platform in Action 

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References:

https://www.reddeeradvocate.com/news/red-deer-city-council-considers-ways-it-can-spur-economic-development/

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/08/11/pedestrian-only-streets-canada_n_5668604.html

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