AUGUSTA — Hundreds of experts and advocates for downtown revitalization, preservation and growth will convene next week, in and around the city’s downtown.

The Revitalizing Maine Communities 2010 Conference, for the first time, unites the Maine Downtown Center, Maine Preservation and GrowSmart Maine to showcase the economic value of downtown revitalization and historic preservation.

Some 25 workshop sessions will take place Thursday and Friday. Thursday’s main session will be at the Cony flatiron building. Many of Friday’s sessions are in a variety of locations in Augusta’s historic but financially struggling downtown.

Organizers hope the sessions on revitalizing downtowns could actually have the effect of revitalizing Augusta’s downtown, by bringing people to it.

Maine Downtown Center Director Roxanne Eflin anticipates 300 people will attend, including downtown program managers, planners, elected and appointed municipal officials, economic developers, community leaders, developers, historic preservationists “and anybody who cares about revitalizing the heart of their communities.”

“A lot of good work is going into revitalizing Augusta’s downtown. We felt this would be a great opportunity to showcase our capital city,” Eflin said. “We have every intention of giving Augusta a boost by introducing people to the potential of Water Street, and the old flatiron building. It’s new, it’s amazing, it’s a premier event for Augusta.”


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