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Commercial districts are crucial in building healthy, vibrant communities. They are places where local residents shop and gather. Places where strangers become acquaintances, and acquaintances become friends. Not only do commercial districts provide healthy and shared gathering spaces, but they are places where people build wealth through small businesses, find jobs, and celebrate and preserve community culture and innovation.
In Western New York, we are dedicated to cultivating a sense of place throughout our neighborhoods, through the support of our business ecosystems. Using placemaking as an economic development strategy, we focus on the unique assets of a district, highlighting its unique strengths and characteristics to attract new investment and strengthen the existing business climate.
When communities commit to using placemaking as a method of economic development, the benefits extend far beyond enticing visitors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations. To local economies recovering from a loss of conventional industry, placemaking, when well integrated with residents and community members, is a method for people to gain pride in what may be an unconventional economy.
We at LISC believe in preserving the distinct cultures of our neighborhoods. We encourage the recognition of local artists and musicians in building a place. We support more sustainabile mobility options, like walkability and transit-friendly streets. And we support Historic Preservation, where preserving the unique building assets of a district funnel more character into the place, and more money into the hands of working craftsman and artisans, over the purchasing of raw materials.
LISC WNY provides support to our commercial district leaders, in highlighting the strengths of our neighborhoods.