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Two Small Cities Use Creativity, Art, Parking To Revitalize Downtowns09:44Download

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The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower is seen next to the Greene County Courthouse, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Jefferson, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower is seen next to the Greene County Courthouse, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Jefferson, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Here & Now recently spoke with urban planner David Gamble about rebuilding American cities in ways that draw in people of all ages — using downtown space creatively and efficiently so that residents incorporate downtown into their daily lives.

After that segment aired, we heard from towns around the country, describing what they've done to revitalize their downtown areas, bring in tourism, and keep people coming back again and again.

Today we check in with Carson City, Nevada, and Jefferson, Iowa — two cities which made dramatic changes that are fueling economic recovery and earning rave reviews from residents and urban planners.

We also invited Gamble back to join the discussion about what those cities have achieved. Here & Now's Robin Young is joined by Gamble, Doreen Mack of Carson City and Debra McGinn of Jefferson.

An artist works on a rooftop art installation in Jefferson, Iowa. (Courtesy Jefferson Matters: Main Street)
An artist works on a rooftop art installation in Jefferson, Iowa. (Courtesy Jefferson Matters: Main Street)
A street under construction in downtown Carson City, Nev. (Courtesy Carson City Downtown 20/20)
A street under construction in downtown Carson City, Nev. (Courtesy Carson City Downtown 20/20)
The renovated Sally's Alley in Jefferson, Iowa. (Courtesy Jefferson Matters: Main Street)
The renovated Sally's Alley in Jefferson, Iowa. (Courtesy Jefferson Matters: Main Street)
The Sassafras restaurant seen in the renovated downtown of Carson City, Nev. (Courtesy Carson City Downtown 20/20)
The Sassafras restaurant seen in the renovated downtown of Carson City, Nev. (Courtesy Carson City Downtown 20/20)
A street view of Comma Coffee in the renovated downtown of Carson City, Nev. (Courtesy Carson City Downtown 20/20)
A street view of Comma Coffee in the renovated downtown of Carson City, Nev. (Courtesy Carson City Downtown 20/20)
The renovated Sally's Alley in Jefferson, Iowa. (Courtesy Jefferson Matters: Main Street)
The renovated Sally's Alley in Jefferson, Iowa. (Courtesy Jefferson Matters: Main Street)
Trees in Jefferson, Iowa after a "yarn bombing" event. (Courtesy Jefferson Matters: Main Street)
Trees in Jefferson, Iowa after a "yarn bombing" event. (Courtesy Jefferson Matters: Main Street)

Guests

Debra McGinn, chairperson of the Tower View Team in Jefferson, Iowa.

Doreen Mack, president of Downtown 20/20 in Carson City, Nevada. The city tweets @visitCarsonCity.

David Gamble, co-author of “Rebuilding the American City: Design and Strategy for the 21st Century Urban Core,” lecturer at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and principal of Gamble Associates. The firm tweets @GambleAssoc.

This segment aired on October 26, 2016.

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