Assessing the economic revitalization impact of urban design improvements: the Texas Main Street Program
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The relationship between urban design and economic activity is seldom studied through empirical studies with a large number of cases due, in part, to the implicit and intangible nature of design. This study was intended to understand, analyze, and evaluate the complex relationship between the design and the economic revitalization of downtown districts with reference to the 78 active Texas Main Street Program districts. First, the design, promotion, organization, and economic restructuring components of the Main Street Program's comprehensive four-point approach were investigated. Next, the economic changes that occurred within those districts were analyzed from 1997-2001. Finally, employment, the number of jobs, the number of business establishments, the number of sales tax permits, the retail sales volume, and the commercial property values were compared for the same time period among three categories of cities: those active in the Main Street Program, those formerly active but now inactive, and those who have not participated. Findings revealed that several positive changes occurred in design, promotion, organization, and economic restructuring components of the four-point approach within the active Texas Main Street districts. It appears that these changes produced several positive outcomes for the physical, social, and economical environment of the active Main Street districts. Moreover, the findings suggests that these changes in the Main Street districts resulted in an increased economic activity, not only within the Main Street district by generating jobs, or producing private and/or public investment, but also across the Main Street city by creating community wide economic activity in most of the variables that were under investigation. The results indicate that the Texas Main Street Program, part of which is urban design oriented, is having a positive effect on economic activity within the active Main Street districts.
Texas Main Street Program
Ozdil, Taner Recep (2003). Assessing the economic revitalization impact of urban design improvements: the Texas Main Street Program. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from