McGill is Excited to Attend the NC Main Street Conference
North Carolina’s Main Street and Rural Panning Center and the North Carolina Department of Commerce have teamed up to host the 2022 NC Main Street Annual Conference, which brings together over 700 economic development professionals from across the state to exchange ideas and discuss Main Street program best practices.
The NC Main Street Conference will be held virtually this year from March 8th through 10th, and the McGill land planning and recreation team is eager to participate in conversations surrounding the incorporation of healthy lifestyle initiatives into downtown economic development strategies.
NC MAIN STREET CONFERENCE AGENDA
The NC Main Street Conference is the nation’s largest statewide conference devoted to downtown rehabilitation and redevelopment.
On the conference schedule — inspiring keynote speakers are set to cover a broad spectrum of downtown revitalization topics, trends, and opportunities, and 15 breakout sessions will be aimed at providing conference goers with the toolkit for long-term capacity building at the local level.
HEALTHY COMMUNITIES BEGIN ON MAIN STREET
This year’s conference theme is Healthy Communities Begin on Main Street and here at McGill we are striving to shape healthier and happier communities everyday through our engineering and land planning and recreation work.
McGill project manager, Carrie Cranwill has 30 years of experience in the landscape architecture and civil engineering fields. Carrie notes that a successful streetscape can be accomplished by, “First using physical elements such as site furniture, lighting, paving, landscape, signage, and utilities to create an environment that supports both vehicular and pedestrian circulation; and then layering on design styles and public art suitable for the project. These are the interesting elements that give the streetscape its own sense of place. Having a unique sense of place is important, every downtown has a history or story that can be drawn from to impart some type of local flavor that keeps the past and traditions from being forgotten, but that doesn’t keep the main street from reinventing itself to meet the needs of the current population.”
HOW SUCCESSFUL STREETSCAPES BENEFIT BUISNESSES
Downtown streetscapes oftentimes serve as the heart of a community and, when designed properly, can be extremely beneficial to business owners. “When people enjoy a space and feel safe, they will return, and each return trip is an opportunity for a business to gain a valuable repeat customer. The other added benefit is that there are usually a lot of independent small business owners on Main Street and those dollars get infused back into the local community,” said Carrie.
SUCCESSFUL STREETSCAPES PROMOTE TOGETHERNESS
McGill’s award-winning land planning and recreation team is known for designing spaces that harmoniously link constructed and natural settings, while encouraging togetherness among community members.
Carrie said, “In the world today with everyone tied to their digital devices, people need spaces to connect with each other in person in low stress environments. This is what builds social interaction and co-mingling which is critical in today’s society. We hope our designs create safe, functional, and aesthetic spaces so that people can enjoy an outdoor space in an urban setting that allows them to gather with old friends or possibly make some new ones.”
Click here to read more about the work that McGill’s land planning and recreation team is doing to improve communities throughout the Southeast.
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