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By tapping into local wisdom, Rethos works with you to uncover your community’s distinct assets, develop your strengths, and promote your competitive edge. Our Downtown Assessment program helps you develop a plan to change the way people think and talk about downtown.

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Southeastern Minnesota Communities! The deadline to apply for a no-cost Downtown Assessment was March 31. Three Southeast Minnesota communities will be selected. Thanks to Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation for funding.
Learn more. Download the application worksheet.

Downtown Assessments

Bringing Rethos to your Community for an Assessment
​What is a Downtown Assessment?

A Downtown Assessment is an inventory of the assets your downtown district has, both physical and intangible, and a report how those assets can be leveraged into action plans for revitalization. A community going through a Downtown Assessment with Rethos will receive a Downtown Assessment Strategy Report with community findings, categorization of local assets, and action steps for economic revitalization.

Who does the Downtown Assessment?

Rethos staff and contracted partners conduct the Downtown Assessments.


When do Downtown Assessments take place and how long does it take?

Downtown Assessments can take place at any time of the year. They typically last 3-6 months to gather information and write thorough reports. This time frame includes 2-3 community info gathering visits and a final report presentation visit. 


Do Downtown Assessments only take place in downtowns?

Rethos primarily works with Downtown or Neighborhood Business Districts with a large number or old or historic buildings that include mixed use areas of business, residents, and public and private uses. 


Why should my town consider a Downtown Assessment?

If your community has created groups dedicated to downtown or district revitalization but needs guidance on how exactly to take steps to make that revitalization happen, a Downtown Assessment may be right for your community.


​How do I get a Downtown Assessment to happen?

Rethos works with Minnesota Main Street members and non-members to do downtown assessments. If you’re interested in learning more about costs, timelines, and availability, reach out to


Past Projects​​

New Ulm





(in progress)

Cultural Asset Mapping


Using information gathered from community conversations, previous studies, and other data sources we can produce a Cultural Asset Map—a visual display of your downtowns cultural asset. Collected stories and photos from community members illustrate your community’s unique features and cultural impact.


Past Projects​​





Projects in partnership with the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota which visually illustrate and provide testimony to the importance of the places, local businesses, traditions, and characteristics which community members value. These maps tangibly represent the intangible sense of place we all feel about our neighborhoods.

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