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Downtown Resources and Networking

Resources and networking opportunities

Community Resource Examples
The Iowa Downtown Resource Center has gathered a wide variety of community resource examples to help further your local revitalization initiatives. For more information, visit the IDRC webpage to review examples ranging from promotional activities, fundraising, market analysis, downtown housing, public spaces, etc. Do you have excellent examples that you would like to share? If yes, please send them to

Creative Placemaking and Downtown
In partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Better Block and the Iowa Arts Council, the Iowa Downtown Resource Center is supporting downtown creative placemaking through trainings, educational opportunities and technical resources. 

Downtown Exchange
A free service offered through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center. Two communities are paired and each makes a commitment to visit the other within a specified timeframe. The process focuses specifically on downtowns or urban commercial districts and provides an excellent opportunity to find out how others see and experience another community’s downtown.

Downtown Forums
The IDRC hosts a series of Downtown Forums annually in four locations across the state.  The forums give downtown and community leaders communities the opportunity to talk to each other about their downtown ideas, successes and challenges. Downtown Resource Center staff facilitate discussions relating to downtown revitalization and available grant programs and other resources.

Iowa Downtown Conference 
The Iowa Downtown Conference is the premier statewide annual conference for professionals and volunteers involved with downtown revitalization in Iowa and neighboring states.

Mapping the Dollars and Sense of Land Use
Use the upper floor housing resources to become more fiscally efficient and sustainable.

Published three times per year, the Iowa Downtown Resource is the state's downtown revitalization newsletter. Sign up to start receiving the newsletter.

Operating Historic Theaters
Historic theaters and opera houses can be cultural and economic anchors for a downtown. Utilize this guide to strengthen the organizational and operational strength of a downtown theater.

Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) Toolkit
A partnership with the University of Iowa, this toolkit encompasses the process of SSMID creation from boundary and budget planning, to methods and process for community outreach, and how to evaluate the success of a SSMID program.

Sustainability Case Studies
The Iowa Economic Development Authority has provided technical and financial assistance to communities to encourage sustainable community practices.

Program Contact(s)

Jim Engle

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