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Episode #112: How to Save Your Downtown with Small-Scale Manufacturing with Ilana Preuss

Is it possible to rebuild a downtown without relying on recruiting big box retail? Our guest says yes!

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
2 min read
Episode #112: How to Save Your Downtown with Small-Scale Manufacturing with Ilana Preuss

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The Econ Dev Show Podcast episode #112 is out. Today's episode is an encore presentation of of one of my favorite episodes from 2021.  In this episode, I talk with Ilana Preuss about her book Recast Your City: How to Save Your Downtown with Small-Scale Manufacturing.

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What's your downtown like?

As a county economic developer, I can look out over several different cities, all with a diverse array of downtowns:

  • Some are vibrant, beautiful tourist destinations.
  • Others are transitioning and improving with city dollars and commercial reinvestment into new stores, new facades, new lighting, and new life.
  • Some suburban cities, to their shame, don't even really have downtowns. Unfortunately, I live in a town like that.
  • But still, others are shells of their former selves; Empty storefronts with faded signs and broken sidewalks – places that you don't go after dark – not because they're dangerous per se, but because there's no reason to.

Our guest today hopes to change that.  Ilana Preuss and her book Recast Your City: How to Save Your Downtown with Small-Scale Manufacturing offer an excellent primer on how to rebuild your downtown without relying on outsiders to bring their businesses to your community.

Ilana's an expert. She led the technical assistance program at the U.S. EPA Smart Growth Program and was the Vice President & Chief of Staff at Smart Growth America. Her firm Recast City, works with local leaders to help create great places.

Enjoy the show, and the book.

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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. Also: Sitehunt CEO and economic development consultant in Greater Houston, Texas.


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