There are 8 essential, guiding principles Downtown Redding must maintain in order to be successful.
For successful, sustainable, long-term revitalization, a comprehensive Main Street approach, including activity in each of the established Four Points: Organization, Design, Promotion, and Economic Vitality is essential. A single focus — be it lavish public improvements, name-brand business recruitment, or endless promotional events — will not revitalize Downtown Redding.
We must want to change — change the physical environment; business practices; perceptions of Downtown; and more. At first, almost no one believed that Downtown Redding could turn around. Changes in attitude and practice take time, but community support for change is building as Downtown Redding grows. Business and property owners are enacting improvements, as people see Downtown in a different light. Careful, inclusive planning helps shift public perceptions and practices to support and sustain Downtown Redding revitalization.
No one else can lift up Downtown Redding. We must have the will and desire to mobilize local resources and talent. We must make our own plans and implement projects and activities that improve the Downtown area. While state and national experts can advise and guide us, ultimately our own residents, business and property owners, government officials, and other leaders must agree to do what is necessary to improve Downtown Redding.
Both the public and private sectors have a vital interest in Downtown Redding and must work together to achieve the common goals of revitalization. Each sector has an essential role to play and must understand the other’s strengths and limitations in order to forge effective partnership.
5. EXISTING ASSETS
Downtown Redding has terrific qualities, distinctive buildings, great businesses, and a unique atmosphere that gives people a sense of history and belonging. Downtown Redding must recognize and capitalize on the assets that make it special. Retaining and enhancing local assets must be the foundation for all aspects of our revitalization.
We must emphasize quality in every aspect of revitalization. This applies to all elements of the process — from design to promotion to information sharing. Shoestring budgets and “cookie-cutter” efforts can send a negative image. Instead, our successful programs must identify a realistic scope of work for Downtown and for the highest quality projects possible.
Improvements to Downtown Redding need to happen incrementally. While large, catalytic projects are important, successful revitalization programs include basic, simple activities that regularly demonstrate new things are happening in Downtown Redding. As public confidence grows and understanding of the revitalization process becomes more sophisticated, Downtown is able to tackle complex problems and more ambitious projects. Incremental changes lead to long-lasting and dramatic positive change in Downtown Redding.
To succeed, we must show visible results that can only come from completing projects. Frequent, visible changes are a reminder that our revitalization effort is succeeding. Small projects have paved the way for larger ones as our revitalization effort matures. That constant level of revitalization activity creates confidence in Downtown Redding and builds ever-greater levels of participation.