Kate Coburn discusses the reinvention of cities with PWRN Radio


In September 2011, HR&A Partner Kate Coburn was interviewed by Jerry Ashton as part of the radio broadcast series “Down But Not Out- Back From The Brink”. In her interview, “How American Towns and Cities are Reinventing and Revitalizing Themselves”, Kate discusses the retail-based revitalization efforts she guides, and the keys to creating a vibrant downtown.


Kate emphasizes that revitalization efforts are most successful when led by a “champion”—be it an individual or an institution. As an example of an individual spearheading a revitalization effort, she points to the leadership offered by Joe Edwards in the efforts to revitalize the Delmar Loop, a retail, entertainment and cultural arts corridor adjacent to Washington University in St. Louis. Kate is currently creating a retail recruitment and overall development strategy to further enhance the Delmar Loop in preparation for the reintroduction of the Delmar Trolley system.


Although institutional “champions” are typically business improvement districts or special improvement districts expressly created to lead the revitalization effort, Kate explains that hospitals, chambers of commerce, and universities can be invaluable partners, too. As an example, she highlighted the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, which has taken the lead in that City’s redevelopment. The Chamber retained HR&A to analyze potential for economic redevelopment in Omaha, identify catalyst projects, and create a neighborhood-based strategy for implementation and governance.


Listen to Kate’s interview