Kennedy Smith

Kennedy Lawson Smith is a principal with the Community Land Use and Economics (CLUE) Group, a consulting firm specializing in downtown economic development.

She joined the staff of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center in 1985, and in 1991 she became its director, a position she held for 13 years. During her tenure, the Main Street program was widely recognized as one of the most successful economic development programs in the US, expanding to a nationwide network of almost 2,000 towns and cities.

Kennedy wrote a series of articles on downtown development for the Planning Commissioners Journal between 2005 and 2007. She is a popular speaker on retail development policy, commercial district development, and historic preservation issues

cartoon image of a grocery cart full of food

Wanted: Downtown Grocery Stores

As Americans’ taste for downtown living grows, so does their appetite for downtown grocery stores. So, why is it still rare to see a grocery store downtown? Economic development consultant Kennedy Smith provides some answers.

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Downtown Hurdles

It should be no harder to develop downtown than elsewhere. Yet, as PCJ columnist Kennedy Smith argues, too many regulatory hurdles often face downtown development.