Office to Residential Conversion Symposium

view video

Livingston County’s Next Steps in Economic Development and Tourism

  • Insights
by Larisa Ortiz,
Managing Director,
Public Non-Profit Solutions

We had the pleasure of (re)visiting Livingston County this March, where our Public Non-Profit Solutions team is being engaged by Livingston County Economic Development to create an economic development and tourism strategy for the county, following our award-winning 2017 countywide downtown strategic plan, which was executed beautifully by the Livingston Economic Development. Since our last engagement, they have brought their tourism work “in house” and completed the five-year plan. As a result, we are now being engaged to develop an economic development and a tourism work plan for the County which will inform the next five years of investments and initiatives.



It was a real treat to see the fruits of this talented team’s incredibly hard work implementing every element of the plan, a plan which won the Excellence Award from the International Downtown Association. As a result, this plan has helped further establish Livingston’s nine downtown villages as a destination for visitors and a point of pride for residents.



One point of the plan was a recommendation to develop a business plan competition, which aimed to improve visit assets and business mix. The Business Plan competition, which included grants, technical assistance, and a “Business Boot Camp,” resulted in 29 winners over three cycles, of which 26 are still in business or opening shortly. Learn more about the Business Plan competition here.



Our team also made the recommendation to create a series of downtown murals as Instagrammable opportunities at gateways to drive downtown visitation. Murals were also an opportunity to improve and activate the alleys as public spaces that connect visitors to public parking lots downtown. The program developed by Livingston County was phenomenal and resulted in nine professional murals in each downtown village, complete with a regional mural festival that drew thousands of visitors, and visitor spending. Interest in the murals continues to grow thanks to a virtual mural “trail” and website. Browse some of the murals of Livingston County below.


This mural serves as the gateway to Geneseo, which is the home of SUNY Geneseo College, among the most elite colleges in the SUNY NY system.

Our Public Non-Profit team expertly develops place-based strategies on behalf of local, state, and federal government entities and nonprofit place-management organizations—offering communities innovative, research-driven answers to place-based challenges. Dive into our full-scale strategic planning services for another public project—Union Square Alliance in San Francisco—here.


You’re in!

"Thank you for choosing to receive updates from across our global creative collective of placeshapers, brandbuilders, and storytellers. Learn more about Streetsense."

be in the know