Downtown Resources & Networking

Downtown Resource Center

Community Resource Examples

The Iowa Downtown Resource Center (IDRC) gathered a wide variety of community resource examples to help further local revitalization initiatives. Review examples ranging from promotional activities, fundraising, market analysis, downtown housing, public spaces, etc. Have excellent examples to share? If yes, please email them to

Downtown Forums and the Iowa Downtown Conference

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

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

Downtown Design Guide

The Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa created the Downtown Design Guide to assist community stakeholders working on historic commercial district revitalization across the state. The guide can be a great tool for any community interested in preserving and maintaining the historic character of its physical assets while embracing diversity, quality design, sustainability practices and accessibility for all.

Addressing Problem Properties in Downtown Districts

The appearance, use and safety of downtown districts impact community image, property values, future investments and ultimately, the long-term vitality of communities. A downtown cannot reach its full potential and thrive as a center for living, working and entertainment if nuisance buildings, improperly maintained lots and poor building uses are the focal point. Solutions come with local action. Community leaders must identify challenges and develop ideas, programs and procedures to improve those problem properties.

Creative Placemaking & Downtown

Ottumwa Better Block Project
Dubuque Better Block Project

Additional Resources

Self-Supported Municipal Improvement Districts

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.

Other Helpful Resources