Leadership Through Partnerships: The National Trust’s Main Street Program as a Community Economic Development Tool

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Paper highlights the Main Street Program of the National Trust for Historical Preservation. Program takes an innovative “grassroots and bootstraps” approach to combining historic preservation with economic development, based on community leadership, to revive historic commercial districts.

Once underway, Main Street programs operate on a four-point approach: (1) Design: Enhancing aesthetics of structure, (2) Organization: Using program as opportunity to bring preservation groups together, (3) Promotion: marketing historic downtown areas for enterprise development, (4) Economic Restructuring: Strengthening and adapting the economic basis; often including a market analysis for downtown businesses.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group