Commercial District Design: Open Streets + Design

July 9, 2020 | Commercial District Design: Open Streets + Design |

From big cities to rural towns, communities around the world are temporarily opening streets to people by closing them to trucks and cars. These open streets programs and initiatives are meant to encourage walking, biking, and rolling, support age-friendly and intergenerational events, slow automobile traffic to increase personal safety, strengthen commercial districts, and/or create space for activities such as dining, retail, and group exercise.

Open streets programs are becoming even more prevalent and popular in recent months during the COVID-19 crisis as local leaders strategize on how to reopen economies safely. They provide the increased physical space needed to maintain social distancing while also ensuring that businesses are able to increase the amount of sales they need to stay afloat.

In our first of a series of briefs produced in collaboration AARP Livable Communities, we explore the benefits of open streets programs, outline a set of priorities local leaders should consider when implementing these initiatives, and provide examples of open streets projects in two Main Street communities.


About the Series: Produced in collaboration between Main Street America and AARP Livable Communities, Commercial District Design: COVID-19 Response and Management is a series of design-centered briefs developed to equip community leaders with safe, equitable, age-friendly strategies to support economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. View the full series here.


Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal, insurance, liability, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal, insurance, tax, and accounting advisors for guidance on these matters. Photos may have been taken before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, and not depict our current reality of the need to socially distance.