Created in collaboration with the Columbia Institute, the Dynamic Downtowns Workbook is a resource for communities that want to know more about how to include heritage buildings as part of their downtown revitalization strategy.
The five ‘Case Studies’ included in the Workbook illustrate examples of how some British Columbia communities are incorporating heritage buildings into their downtown revitalization. Finally, the ‘Tools in the Toolkit’ section, and the following ‘Checklist for Communities’ bring together an approach for incorporating heritage buildings into a bigger strategy. The Tools in the Toolkit section is meant to be followed sequentially, with a community first looking at how it is
(1) Building Capacity,
(2) Planning for heritage buildings in the downtown,
(3) Implementing tools that can support the reuse of heritage buildings, and finally
(4) Assessing the effectiveness of the approach.
Reuse of heritage buildings alone will generally not be enough to revitalize a downtown. There needs to be activity in the downtown, an interesting mix of retail and easy access to parking and sidewalks. However, old buildings that are no longer vacant but have an active commercial life are an important part of a vibrant downtown.