A Study to Determine Variables Necessary For Successful Downtown Revitalization Programs in Missouri's Communities

Date of Graduation

Summer 1992


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Barbara Becker


The decentralization of communities has created economic instability for many downtowns. In 1980, the National Trust for Historic Preservation adopted the Main Street Program to help revitalize the downtown areas of communities having a population between 5,000 and 50,000. This program is based on the four variables of design, economic restructuring, organization, and promotion. Missouri's Department of Economic Development created a five-point strategy which stresses the funding variable as well as the National Main Street Center's four variables by combining the efforts of their Main Street Program with a state tax credit opportunity, the Neighborhood Assistance Program. The merger of these two programs was designed to help make downtown revitalization more feasible for the state's communities. This study was done to determine if all five variables are necessary for downtown revitalization in Missouri's communities. Eight of Missouri's ten original Main Street Program demonstration communities were studied. It became evident that all five of the variables are necessary in varying degrees depending on characteristics of the communities. Other important variables evolved from this study that were not stressed in Missouri's five-point strategy. This study showed that Missouri's Main Street Program was successful during its trial years between 1989 and 1992. The most important recommendation to evolve from this study is that Missouri should consider reinstating this program in 1993.

Subject Categories

Earth Sciences


© Susan Catherine Wallace