A map is a great way to show people where they want to go. And without exception, communities want people to know where they are and possible destinations to explore.
But this is a very narrow acknowledgment of the value of maps. For downtown revitalization, maps can be the most versatile tool in your belt.
As a manager of revitalization efforts in a community, there are countless features that can and should be mapped. There are obvious physical elements like roads, buildings, trees, and utilities. With these elements mapped, you can efficiently plan for special events, holiday decorating, maintenance activities, and volunteer activities. If you begin to map other metrics like ownership, code compliance, condition, and vacancy, you can understand where to direct resources. Mapping occupancy, size, and availability can be an effective economic development resource for cultivating new businesses.
If you look beyond the core downtown, you can begin to map walking routes, drive-sheds, and trade areas. These resources can be effective marketing tools for your existing businesses as well as recruiting resources for those you’re looking to bring into your town.
Traditional maps are a great resource in your downtown. Exploring beyond the traditional is a great exercise for enhancing the value of mapping in your community.
Need to catch up on our travels? Check out images from all the communities we visited along the way, here.