Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Downtown Bryan program honored as "Bright Idea"
On Wednesday, September 29 the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, announced 173 government programs selected for its newly-created Bright Ideas program. Among those programs is the City of Bryan’s Downtown Improvement Program.
In its inaugural year, Bright Ideas is designed to recognize and share creative government initiatives around the country with interested public sector, nonprofit, and academic communities. Of the 173 government program honorees, nine are from the state of Texas, including Bryan’s.
This year’s cohort of Bright Ideas was chosen by a team of expert evaluators made up of academics, practitioners, and former public servants. Selected from a pool of nearly 600 applicants including smaller-scale pilots, 2010 Bright Ideas address a range of pressing issues including poverty reduction, environmental conservation, and emergency management.
The Downtown Improvement Program provides matching grants for individuals or businesses that own buildings located in Downtown Bryan. The program has benefitted the City of Bryan by making downtown more attractive and improving the economic vitality of the buildings by increasing sales tax and property values, while preserving Bryan’s architectural and cultural history.
Since the program was initiated in 2001, approximately 45 properties have participated, resulting in the renovation of key buildings and the first new construction in Downtown Bryan in over thirty-five years. This highly visible commitment from the City and Downtown Property Owners has refreshed the spirit of those who have been impacted over the years of inactivity and now see the vision of a renewed heart of the community.
For more information on the Bright Ideas program and a complete list of honorees visit: Harvard Kennedy School Bright Ideas Program.
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