Why Paducah Renaissance Alliance and Main Streets Matters
Over the past 30 years, the Main Street® movement has transformed the way communities think about the revitalization and management of their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. Cities and towns across the nation have come to see that a prosperous, sustainable community is only as healthy as its core.
We all know where our Main Streets are, but do we know what they are and why they matter? Whether they are named First Avenue or Water Street or Martin Luther King Boulevard, what they represent is universal. Main Streets are the economic engines, the big stages, the cores of communities. Our Main Streets tell us who we are, who we were, and how the past has shaped us. We do not go to suburbs or enclosed shopping malls to learn about our past, explore our culture, or discover our identity. Our Main Streets are the places of shared memory where people still come together to live, work, and play.
So what is Main Street? The phrase has been used to describe everything from our nostalgic past to our current economic woes, but when we talk about Main Street®, we are thinking of real places doing real work to revitalize their economies and preserve their character. Specifically, Main Street® is three things: a proven strategy for revitalization, a powerful network of linked communities, and a national support program that leads the field.
Paducah Renaissance Alliance, winner of the Great American Main Street Award in 2010, serves as a model for communities throughout the nation. Selected by a nationwide jury of community development experts, Paducah proves that incremental progress – and persistence – pays off, creating economic vitality, a unique sense of place, and a greater commitment to community by all of its residents.
For information on PRA's Mission and Vision, please click here.