Presented by the Project for Public Places and the National Trust Main Street Center, the two-day meeting is attracting about 100 people from across the state, representing elected officials, Main Street associations, tourism bureaus and other interested participants.
Tupelo was selected during a national search for the host of the project’s pilot program. As part of the selection, Tupelo and the Mississippi Main Street Association won a $10,000 grant.
According to the PPP, “if you plan for cars and traffic, you will get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you will get people and places.”
And so, some national experts on placemaking will be in Tupelo to talk about creating those public places that help foster community growth.
“It’s a learning process, taking a minute at looking at communities and our streets in a broader context and how to integrate them in the community,” said Debbie Brangenberg, Downtown Tupelo Main Street executive director.
In order for Main Street to apply for the program, the City Council had to agree to implement one tangible project that is recommended during the workshops.
The meeting will be held at the BancorpSouth Conference Center, with several workshops included.
Brangenberg said the lessons learned at the meeting won’t be exclusive to Tupelo’s Main Street or any other Main Street.
“We’re seeing how it can be replicated in other areas of the community,” she said. “It’s a holistic approach.”
The Project for Public Places was founded in 1975 to expand the work of William “Holly” Whyte, who wrote “The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces.” The nonprofit group has completed projects in more than 2,500 communities in all 50 states and 40 countries.
Carlie Kollath contributed to this story. Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.