There’s less than five weeks left in 2013, so now is a good time to dust off this years’ public space plan for review. While you’re at it, pull out the ideas and suggestions that have been sent your way during the year and any research that you’ve conducted on future public space trends.
Did you notice an increase or decrease in pedestrian traffic along mainstreet or in the business improvement district? How did your pedestrian traffic count this year relate to previous years? Was the traffic up or down? Can you attribute the increase or decrease to any particular action or activity?
Did you initiate any new public space initiatives this year? Did they perform as expected? Were you surprised by the results or underwhelmed? If the initiative underperformed, what changes will you implement next spring to produce better results. Has the demographics in your local community changed recently and if so, what ideas have you come across that might improve the alignment with your market?
How does the appearance of your property compare with other properties in the area? If you rate it as less comparable, what projects may you initiate to improve or maintain a visual edge? Are there low cost, high impact changes that could be made to dramatically improve the appearance? Have you conducted a site audit to determine the condition of the existing site furniture? Is there a need to replace or introduce new public elements that might address particular issues? For example, could wayfinding signage or district markers boost store sales within the district perimeters.
Are there new initiatives that you’d like to introduce in 2014? Will you implement a district wide recycling program? Will your district become part of a local water reduction campaign? Is there a need to create resting areas for smokers and non-smokers? Is there adequate bike parking to capture cyclist? How pet and child friendly is your retail district? Are there experiential elements that could be added to your public space to generate new excitement?
As the end of the year approaches, this is a good time to tackle unfinished 2013 plans and begin thinking about new public space ideas for 2014. For ideas that can be implemented now to impact the spring of 2014, see what to do this winter for next spring.