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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Enticing Tourists into City Centers

A plan from Richmond, Virginia uses supergraphics and green space to encourage freeway travelers to make a stop in their city.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WUDYSBsXaI

Richmond, Virginia has a beautiful downtown and vibrant arts community, but its freeway exits are less than enticing. Unfortunately, these are all that many tourists see of Richmond as they travel to other locations. How can the city use these gateways to give travelers a taste of the city's history and culture? At GOOD Ideas for Cities RVA, the whyRVA team tackled the challenge of bringing these tourists into Richmond who might otherwise not make the stop.

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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Increasing Involvement in Middle School

After elementary school, parental and community involvement takes a dive. How to improve the middle school experience during this critical time?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGqjYyaBtsc

Parents know they should be involved in their kids' education during elementary school, but as kids get older, parents become less engaged. The dropoff is greatest for the overlooked middle schools—even their names denote this neither-here-nor-there mentality. How to increase parental and community involvement during this extremely critical time for students? At GOOD Ideas for Cities RVA, the Kids Lead, Parents Follow team proposed several changes to the way parents think about middle school, and education in general. From eliminating middle school as a concept entirely and making all primary schools K-8, to creating a mentorship program that engages both elementary and high school students as advisers to middle schoolers. The team encouraged parents to ignore the imagined boundaries—school districts, grade divisions—and listen to their kids.

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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Promoting Activity on an Urban River

Richmond, Virginia is planning a revitalization of its riverfront. How can the city ensure that economic and cultural development also happens there?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMiftW3NluA

In Richmond, Virginia, a massive revitalization plan has been announced for its James River, which will bring new parks, walking trails, and public spaces to the downtown riverfront. But how can the city ensure that economic and community activity—people, in other words—also come to the river? At GOOD Ideas for Cities RVA, the James RVA team revealed their plan to encourage, share, and promote activities along the river, making it a social and cultural destination for the city. By giving the river an online personality, James RVA, the team hoped to create a social media presence for the river, one that you could friend on Facebook or tag on Instagram. A website and app would collect and map references to the river, creating a vibrant picture of what was happening there. A program with local businesses would also encourage development with incentives to create river-themed tours, retail, or pop-up eateries that could bring economic growth to the area.

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