Michael Powe, Ph.D.

Michael Powe, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Research

As the Senior Director of Research, Mike develops research projects that demonstrate the power and potential of Main Street communities. This includes work managing research partnerships, steering research efforts from design through execution, and gathering and analyzing data related to the performance of Main Streets across the country.

Mike has more than 15 years of experience conducting groundbreaking research on the links between communities’ physical fabric and their social, cultural, and economic vitality. Between 2013 and 2020, Mike led research for the National Trust for Historic Preservation that empirically assessed the contributions that existing buildings and commercial districts offer cities. Through the Trust’s “Older, Smaller, Better” and “Atlas of ReUrbanism” projects, he demonstrated the statistical links between blocks of older, smaller, mixed-age buildings and an array of important community and economic development outcomes in more than 50 U.S. cities. Mike also played a significant role in the National Trust’s Partnership for Building Reuse with the Urban Land Institute, steering policy conversations focused on strengthening building reuse opportunities in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, and Louisville. He holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree (2006) and a doctorate in Planning, Policy, and Design (2010), both from the University of California, Irvine.