During the last half century, as cities have disinvested in the public realm, place management organizations have emerged in order to fill the gaps. In today’s booming urban cores, however, the priorities of these organizations must evolve beyond their "clean and safe" roots to incorporate placemaking, innovation, and inclusion.
The traditional Main Street is one of the most iconic images of America. With its unique blend of housing, retail, and civic uses, Main Street served as the social and commercial hub of communities until World War II. Since then, suburban development favoring shopping malls and single-use zoning have driven resources away from these vital places. Thankfully, today various organizations and communities are working to restore the historic functions of main streets and reestablish them as the centers of towns and cities.