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Chicago, IL

The three pillars of vibrant community development are Identity, Sustainability and Mobility. Identity represents a community’s historic and present day character. When we think of China town, we know exactly what we are getting, quality restaurants and an authentic experience of Chinese culture. When we think of Devon Avenue, we know it as place to experience Indian culture. Many of the current suggestions to revitalize Wabash are useful, however they are "blind" activities that exist in a vacuum. The number one way to contextualize all the ideas and revitalize Wabash is always to uncover its IDENTITY and then find ways to enhance that. Once the Identity is uncovered, that Identity can be used to provide a cultural and historical ambiance in which all the other improvements can take place. The Historic Jeweler's Row Project is a creative placemaking campaign that will use commercial ad quality photo murals, public art installations, old cobblestone street paving, pop-up history exhibits, sculpture, facade enhancement, transportation ads and signage to re-create the Row's historic ambiance and create a backdrop within which the commercial corridor's commercial and cultural activities can take place. The enhancements will act as a magnet for tourism and a catalyst for healthy outdoor activities like walking and shopping . When you attend a museum exhibit you are encouraged to “exit through the gift shop” and leave some of your money behind. The idea is to transform Jeweler's Row into an outdoor exhibit that attracts visitors and to make its commercial corridors the gift shop. This will increase retail sales per square foot and offer chances to sell Jeweler's Row as a cultural and entertainment destination, leading to jobs. These techniques have been used to revitalize San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf and New York's Fulton Fish Market, both of which used their area's old historic milieu as an "environment" within which to sell shopping, dining and entertainment experiences.

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