Knowledge Center Search
Alley Events & Activation
Downtown alleys—traditionally characterized as dirty and dark—present a unique opportunity for transforming unusual spaces into memorable public experiences. The Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) pursued a broad placemaking program to activate underutilized public spaces (such as alleys). Termed “ACTIVATE,” the initiative transforms iconic Loop alleys into pop-up urban experiences. The events feature art, music, and more in unique urban settings.
Tackling Parking and Transportation
Preparing for an uncertain parking and transportation future. Panelists dive deep into how downtowns and college campuses are working together to address parking challenges. Case study examples include North Carolina State University, University of Alabama Birmingham, and Arizona State University, and how to start thinking about planning for shared autonomous vehicles.
Suburbanization of Hip
MJB Consulting presents how even in the suburbs, retail is becoming more “hip” as demand for these kinds of stores goes mainstream. However, this can raise new complications as these types of retail manage different store typologies in suburban areas, dealing with property owners, and the perception of pushing out long-time local businesses. While this evolution can be painful, it is critical for regions to thrive and BIAs can play a role in facilitating this change.
Economic Development 101 Tale of Three Cities – Cleveland, Milwaukee, New Haven
The urban place management organizations in New Haven, Milwaukee, and Cleveland all developed unique strategies to enhance economic development in their downtowns. They took different approaches (board retreat, organizational strategic plan, BID renewal and satisfaction survey) to identify their new economic development focus. New Haven focused on retail and storefronts, Milwaukee on office and new businesses, and Cleveland on business recruitment and retention.
This session will present the first iteration of the IDA Vitality Index, powered by Stantec. The Index will be an interactive, online tool to benchmark the vitality of downtowns across the U.S. It includes select indicators of economy, inclusion and vibrancy to enable urban place managers to objectively quantify and benchmark their district’s strengths and weaknesses against peer cities. During the session, panelists will share the Index and discuss how districts can use this data.
Building the Value Proposition of Urban Park Management
Learn from leading experts in urban park management and improvement projects across the United States. The session will help build your value proposition for enhancing and investing in high-quality public spaces and green space, and in turn building value for the property surrounding your urban parks.
Urban Design Matters
What makes a thriving downtown? The correct answer includes policy, programming, design, execution and maintenance. All of these things matter, but design may be the one that is easiest to get right and most often gotten wrong. When done properly with the right homework, urban design may be the most powerful tool to attract people, jobs and investment to downtown.
Transforming Downtown Transit Streets
Great streets are the hallmark of successful cities. In cities that lack underground rail, surface street buses are the lifeblood of downtown mobility, and one or two streets can act as dedicated busways. In addition to carrying people to and through downtown, these transit streets are also important pedestrian corridors. Learn how Denver, Minneapolis, and Seattle are reinventing the way they do transit and manage their transit streets.
The Challenges of Unlocking Neighborhood Potential Through Planning Policy
City planning tools like zoning and comprehensive planning are powerful forces that can help unleash the potential of neighborhoods, but the process of updating them can be a lengthy and a deeply political endeavor. Hear two case studies of planning policies being modernized to better reflect the current and future needs of neighborhoods.
Surviving the Retail Apocalypse: Designing Storefronts that Sell
While retail retreat dominates the headlines, examples abound of innovation in storefront design, visual merchandising and unique experience for customers. This panel will demonstrate components of storefronts to help them sell – from doors and windows, to lighting, visual merchandising and more. Innovative approaches to design will be highlighted including activation of vacant storefronts and the public realm around them, and creative approaches to funding projects.