Marketing, Communications and Events
Place managers narrate and communicate the identity and outward facing mission of the place to residents, tourists, businesses, and other stakeholder groups, thereby communicating the place’s unique brand. By expressing the identity of the place, the brand should invoke a sense of place, leaving individuals with the intangible feelings that one gets when engaging with the authenticity of the place.
The brand is used to market the place to these various stakeholder groups, attracting and inviting them to live, work, play and invest in the place. A diversity of tactics are used to market a place ranging from events, messaging, online engagement, street-level activation and more.
Innovative Approaches to Commercial Tenant Attraction and Engagement
There has been a gradual expansion of a BID’s role to influence the commercial vitality of their communities. BIDs can ill afford to sit on the sidelines and watch market forces shape its area of management and must be active change agents to ensure a desired business mix, optimal occupancy levels, and that the district is a reliable investment opportunity. Learn from three BIDs engaging different techniques and partnerships to actively recruit and attract new commercial businesses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sponsorships, Marketing and the Controlled Chaos of Events
This session is designed to aid districts in navigating the ins and outs of event sponsorships and marketing. Learn about knowing what types of events best suit your districts, when and what to market, as well as how to capitalize on sponsorship opportunities. Case studies include Pittsburgh’s “Picklesburg,” Wilmington’s hurricane recovery events and Hartford’s multitiered space activation.
Public Art and Authenticity: From Beauty to Community, from Pretty to Political
Many place management organizations that began with “clean and safe” (and viewed public art as merely a re-branding tool) are now becoming sophisticated curators of culture, and serving as a counterpoint to the homogenization that often grows from economic success. This panel explored the tools for nurturing genuine partnerships with cultural organizations from different communities in a way that empowers lesser-known artists, connects disparate communities and develops an authentic urban
Preserving Culture and Community in Changing Urban Places
Gentrification and displacement of residents and businesses is a key issue facing communities as they grow and change, particularly for immigrants, refugees and communities of color. Learn from policymakers with urban district experience how place managers can partner to help preserve the essence of place, culture, and community – utilizing strategies like workforce investment, community wealth building, equitable development, business estate planning, nonprofit capacity building and more
My Bad Reputation: Overcoming a Place’s Negative Perception
They say perception is reality, but often negative perceptions about a place obscure positive changes, inhibiting growth and success. Whether the narrative is about high crime rates or inauthentic tourist traps, changing perceptions can require a multi-prong effort. Using case studies from a variety of locations, panelists will discuss how tools such as audience research, re-branding and press strategy can highlight local assets and reshape the narrative.
Craft Data-Informed Persona in Places of All Sizes
Downtown associations know their attraction and retention results are due in part to their marketing efforts. But how do you produce content that helps your downtown stand out from the rest? In this panel, downtown regions like Bozeman, MT; Los Angeles, CA; and Memphis, TN will discuss how marketing their narrative started with understanding the unique pieces of their story – namely, their data.
Making the Case: Market Analysis Scenario Workshop
Today, downtown and urban district professionals need clear and concise data to strategically inform management and investment decisions. This workshop begins with a baseline understanding of the data that can be useful for understanding the local market, including how to retrieve the data and how to supplement the data with local knowledge. Structured as a practicum, participants will then work in small groups to apply the methodologies and analyses to build a comprehensive district profile.
Historic Preservation Basics for Downtown Districts
Confused about the historic preservation lingo and tax credits? Don’t know the difference between the National Register and a locally designated landmark? Wondering why design guidelines for matching grants for storefront rehab matter, and why the Secretary of the Interior has standards that should be followed when rehabbing historic properties? This panel will clear it all up for you in a snappy presentation with a host of handouts.
Global Trends 2020: What’s Next for Downtown
P.U.M.A.’s award-winning Global Trends Report has been a go-to resource for downtowns for more than a decade. This debut of the 2020 edition will provide insight on what’s next for downtowns given shifts in demographics, lifestyles and competition. The panel will also provide provocative recommendations on how downtown managers can adapt to and get ahead of trends shaping our cities.
Everybody Innovates Here: Accelerating Innovation and Entrepreneurship Downtown
This session will show how to develop a higher-impact, sustainable, inclusive and more effective way to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship downtown through programs, places, nerve centers, districts and ecosystems. Two case studies will illustrate these concepts: a downtown district in Metuchen, NJ with over $100 million of investment since 2016, and Makerhoods, innovative live-work space, also in New Jersey. These examples will show how innovation is achievable by everyone.
Event Planning, Advocacy and Economic Development Through Smart Data
We’ve all heard about smart data, but how does it play a role in public space activations? This panel of downtown experts will share how pedestrian data and engaging mobile surveys helped enable partners in San Francisco and Dallas advocate successfully to municipal partners, increase sponsorships in dramatic ways, enhance economic development programs and create special destinations.
Championing Iconic Downtown Infrastructure
Explore how BIDs and community organizations are initiating and advancing the next generation of imaginative park and transportation infrastructure projects that breakdown barriers and enhance mobility, create place, enhance livability and spur economic development for downtown. Featured projects include the Crystal City to Washington National Airport (CC2DCA) Intermodal Pedestrian Connection in Arlington, VA; Rail Park and Dilworth Park in Philadelphia; and the 11th Street Bridge Park in DC.
Building a Social Media Strategy for your Downtown
What’s your social strategy? A question we’ve all been asked, but have no simple answer. From understanding your goals and audience to maintaining your brand, come learn tools for crafting a social strategy to fit your downtown and organization.
Pop-Up Winnipeg Public Toilet
The Pop-Up Winnipeg Public Toilet initiative aims to lead by example through providing an accessible, clean, secure, well-maintained, monitored public washroom facility. The Pop-Up has captured the imagination of people in Winnipeg and beyond, generated enthusiastic media coverage, and stirred conversations recognizing the importance of human dignity and access to public toilets in the downtown.Read More
Activating Nicollet | A Street for All
There were three challenges in the renovation of Nicollet Mall: capitalizing on the new space, engaging the community, and executing an activation plan. Now, downtown Minneapolis has a plan to attract inclusive, year-round events, amplify partner efforts, and fill in future programs.Read More
City of Arcades
FOR Cardiff has struggled to identify its USP and wanted to address this by using one of the city’s best assets to attract new and old visitors, the beautiful arcades. They utilized FC Ambassadors to gather feedback from businesses, researched other independent shopping campaigns, and identified a need to first win-back Cardiff shoppers who were already aware of the arcades and encourage new visitors and customers.
IMMERSE is the annual performing and interactive arts event from the Creative City Project. 2018 platformed more than 1,000 artists and performers for an audience of 45,000 people. Creative City Project staff works with artists to create site-specific performances and installations in the streets of public spaces of downtown Orlando. IMMERSE 2018 connected residents of and visitors to Orlando with unique creative encounters that transform the way people see and experience the urban core.
NYC BID Trends Report – Telling the Story of NYC BIDs
The annual NYC BID Trends Report targets multiple audiences, serving both a promotional and educational role for the public and NYC BIDs themselves. SBS collects, analyzes, and features program output data, budget information, and highlights of exceptional programming in this report each year. The report highlights the overall impact and financial data for all BIDs and expense and output data organized by comparable BID cohorts. The report also provides financial and output data from
Main Street Christmas Light Extravaganza
The Main Street Christmas Light Extravaganza is an event that spans four city blocks in downtown Macon. Over 500,000 Christmas lights adorn the landscape in the medians of Poplar Street and Third Street. Bryan Nichols partnered with NewTown Macon to win grant funding to launch the show and achieve the goal of attracting more people. In 2018, the Main Street Christmas Light Show doubled attendance and attracted over 200,000 people to downtown Macon during the holiday season.
Great Plates of Downtown Fort Collins
Great Plates of Downtown Fort Collins is an annual regional dining promotion with a local focus. This two-week-long celebration showcases Downtown’s culinary culture and serves as a community fundraiser, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Food Bank for Larimer County. In 2018, Great Plates raised over $106,000 in two weeks. Overall, the promotion has raised more than $545K: each dollar donated is equivalent to $5.00 worth of food, for a grand total representation of almost $2.7
OverFlo: Hurricane Florence Preparation, Recovery and Resilience
Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI) led a herculean effort to prepare for, and then recover from, Hurricane Florence. The process included working closely with Emergency Management personnel, property owners, and others. After executing six months of events in one month, OverFlo raised over $128,000 for six nonprofits providing food, shelter and other services for hurricane victims.Read More
Passageways 2.0 transforms a 6,200 square foot alleyway in the core of Downtown Chattanooga. City Thread, a series of simple steel tubes, creates a space that extends our attitude of adventure. By its geometry, the project possesses many potential settings including lounging, mini-stages, framing for art, concerts, markets, movie screenings, and more. The design is intended to allow casual users and those in charge of programming to discover different ways to utilize the alley.
DowntownDC’s District of Fashion Runway Show
The District of Fashion runway show seeks to align DC with industry-standard practices in fashion and highlight the unique talent located in the DC area. The project is designed to elevate and support the local retail and fashion industry. With high retail space prices and tepid support for the industry, this event sought to give the fashion and shopping retail industry a needed boost both for the perception of the industry and for consumers who spend money at brick and mortar retailers in
PATH Clothing Drive: Social Media Campaign
The Toronto Financial District BIA worked with YSM to create a social media strategy to promote the PATH Clothing Drive and increase donations. It created two videos, both with a clear call to action. The BIA also compiled a list of ‘influencers’ they would reach out to on social media to share the video. In total the project resulted in 821,318 social media impressions, 450,150 video views and 6,500 bags of donated clothing: all record highs for the clothing drive.
Soda City Market
Columbia’s Soda City weekly street market started within the confines of a single block and now runs along the 1300-1500 blocks of Main Street and has a large economic impact. There are 5,000-7,000 visitors to Soda City Market on a regular Saturday and up to 10,000 on a special event day. Patrons can find farmers, artisans, and artists who all fall into one of three categories: Brain, Body, or Belly.
Milwaukee Public Market: An Economic Catalyst for Milwaukee and the Historic Third Ward
Determining the location for the Milwaukee Public Market was integral to the city’s revitalization. Being able to create a linkage between the different Milwaukee neighborhoods, specifically the third ward to downtown, could draw residents and tourists into the city in a way that had proven difficult for years. The Market has acted as a business incubator for local entrepreneurs who have since been able to grow and form community connections that provide opportunities for continued success.
Ease Into Midtown
Midtown Association sought the creation, and execution of a parking and transportation communications plan that would invite a target demographic, females 25-45 years of age, into Midtown by presenting an ‘easy’ outlook of various transportation options available. The campaign highlighted transportation methods and parking in Midtown and showed the ease of using technologies associated with on-street and off-street parking and alternative transportation including bicycling, transit and
Bonayo Open 311 Project
Bonayo.org is a unique and time-saving web application that Lower Polk Community Benefit District developed in-house. Bonayo works by taking 311 call data directly from the city and routing it to LPCBD’s workers. Bonayo is currently free to use, and users can choose to get receive live notifications via text and/or email. Each text and/or email shows the location of the service call, the service call type, and a photo when available.
Downtown Block Party
The Downtown Block Party was developed as a celebration of Downtown Iowa City’s night economy as a unique differentiator from other commercial nodes in the region that could be an attractor to those of all ages looking for something different. The event relied on key partnerships to entertain attendees with activities including a sand volleyball court in the street, silent disco, dueling pianos, video game tournament, barn dancing by senior citizens, a drag show and main stage with music
Dupont Circle BID Brand Launch & Implementation
The Dupont Circle BID catalyzed renewal of the area’s public infrastructure through $25 million in streetscape upgrades and an innovative plaza deck over an avenue dividing the retail core. Flowing from Dupont Circle, it will be an exciting, programmable gathering space for the entire city. Its marketing roll-out includes a content-rich website, social media platforms, colorful street light banners, monthly newsletters, transit advertising, a neighborhood guide, and materials for retail
DVBIA’s Ambassador Dashboard
The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) created a bespoke electronic dashboard to monitor and inform the DVBIA’s Clean & Safe team’s operations using collected data. The metrics on the dashboard focused on safety-related actions and observations such as reported theft from autos, open drug use, graffiti, and illegal encampments. The dashboard positively impacted the Clean & Safe team’s operations and accountability while also boosting the team’s morale.
In an effort to revitalize and refresh the district’s street-level appearance, the Downtown Tempe Authority (DTA) decided to wrap the fourteen news racks throughout the downtown district in works of art. Eleven local female artists were asked to submit works that portrayed females. This project celebrates local creative talent, enhances a sense of place and helps create an engaging and vibrant pedestrian experience in Downtown Tempe.
50th Annual Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts
This 3-day art festival takes place in the streets of Downtown a.k.a. the heart of Tempe. A .42-mile radius that spans from one of few Arizona reservoirs, Tempe Town Lake, to University Drive bordering the Arizona State University campus. One of our organization’s goal is to curate diverse and impactful experiences that cultivate community engagement, which is a major factor in why the Downtown Tempe BID produces the Tempe Festival of the Arts in-house.
Homemade In Downtown
Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc. (DTSF) and local advertising agency, Fresh Produce, collaborated to create a comprehensive marketing campaign that featured co-op advertising opportunities for DTSF business members. Strong communication between DTSF, Fresh Produce, and members – as well as support from key stakeholders – made it possible to develop creative that pleased the large majority of members, and led to high satisfaction among participating businesses.
Downtown San Diego: Create the Future
The Downtown San Diego Partnership spearheaded an initiative in partnership with Grizzly Creative, IVC Media and The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation to create and launch a brand for Downtown San Diego. It defined a narrative and visual language for downtown that positioned our urban core positively and attractively by elevating what’s already happening there and demonstrating what a tremendous opportunity we have to create the future.
Downtown London’s Free Comic Book Day
In 2015, Downtown London began to hear concerns about the amount of people lined up on the sidewalk and the limited space for people to safely participate in Free Comic Book Day. Many of the attendees are children, and most people dress up as characters from their favorite movie, book, or video game. For three successful years now, Downtown London closes Dundas Street and programs it each year with a street festival of comic artists, clubs and performers.
The Downtown Huntsville Tinsel Trail
Tinsel Trail is a free display of live Christmas trees in Downtown Huntsville’s Big Spring Park. Over 300 trees decorate Big Spring Park for the holiday season. Downtown Huntsville, Inc. purchases the trees and then sells them to local companies, community groups, and individuals who then decorate the trees to their own custom theme. The event is free to the public and open 24/7. Special activities such as family fun runs, musical performances and caroling occur throughout the event.
Downtown Durham Public Space Project
The Downtown Durham, Inc. Public Space Project is an activation project focused on retaining and supporting the creative and artistic cultures of Durham and upholding public spaces of convergence. The Public Space Project is a re-granting program that provides funding to individuals and organizations who bring temporary, creative, free of charge experiences to downtown Durham’s public spaces.
CollaborEAT is an annual event of CityBuild Denver, an initiative of the Downtown Denver Partnership. Each year, it transforms an outdoor public space into a dining experience for 250 CityBuilders. The event is designed to educate and inspire, while providing a space for attendees to engage in innovative thinking around the opportunities and challenges facing Denver. There is no other event in Denver like CollaborEAT, which combines tactical urbanism, education, networking and city building.
A Taste of Colorado 2018
A Taste of Colorado, a free Denver tradition, continued its 35-year tradition of being the largest free admission food and music festival in Colorado attracting over 500,000 attendees over the three-day weekend. A Taste of Colorado has something for everyone with over 50 food vendors, 175 marketplace vendors, a Kids Zone experience with arts & crafts and a children’s entertainment stage, and the elevated music experience with a main stage featuring over 25 musical acts.
DTLA // IRL
For the holiday season, Downtown Center Business Improvement District (DCBID) presented DTLA//IRL (Downtown Los Angeles In Real Life) – an elaborate pop-up experience in the vacant retail spaces of a corner building on a prime retail corridor. Equal parts retail store, visitors’ center, event space, and art installation, the initiative showcased the vibrant culture, community, and commerce of DTLA
Old Town Scottsdale Rebrand
The Old Town Scottsdale Rebrand started as a straightforward marketing and communications assignment to promote the Old Town area to in-state residents for the purpose of increasing local foot traffic. The perception was that Old Town was too touristy and didn’t offer much for our local residents. What began as a simple marketing strategy of how to best present Old Town’s best offerings turned into a much deeper brand exploration that would redefine a city.
Activate Houston Street
Activate Houston Street is an initiative tasked with the goal of creating a placemaking action plan for the downtown Houston Street corridor, a once-bustling retail and pedestrian thoroughfare negatively impacted by the loss of the savings and loans industry and suburban sprawl. Turning Houston Street into an active destination that encourages people to experience its uniqueness and vibrancy will transition it from a corridor you pass by to one visitors and locals will go to and stay.
Umbrella Sky is an art concept from Sextafeira Productions, a creative design company based in Portugal. There were two major components of the project, the colorful umbrellas and two large truss systems which were used to hang the umbrellas above Giralda Plaza. The Umbrella Sky project was a resounding success. An Instagram phenomenon, the city received global recognition and publicity through multiple channels, with especially strong results on social and digital media.
Atlanta Downtown: CAP/ADID’s New Look
After years of feeling dissatisfied with a challenging and uninspiring organizational logo, paired with a need to redesign an aging website, Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (CAP/ADID) made the decision to undergo a comprehensive rebranding process. It created a unifying master brand, Atlanta Downtown (ATL DTN, for short), under which CAP and ADID fall, allowing for a consumer-facing identity and two visually consistent logos that represent CAP and ADID.
Welcome to Capitol Hill Placemaking Video
With recent developments in our BID boundaries, we decided that it was time to consider filming a new placemaking video that reflects the urban renaissance of Capitol Hill. We collaborated with a professional videographer, our Board of Directors, stakeholders, local businesses and constituents to produce a placemaking video that would help create a sense of place and set the tone for the message we want to convey to our audience, which is that Capitol Hill has something for everyone.
Talent Attraction and Retention
Attracting talent to your downtown can be challenging. This presentation outlines innovative strategies for attracting workers and new businesses to your downtown as well as cultivate local talent and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Glebe Spree 150
Glebe Spree is an annual promotion by the Glebe Business Improvement Area (Glebe BIA) in Ottawa, Canada. Over the past seven years, it has become one of the neighborhood’s most successful traffic generators and an annual Glebe tradition. Running from November 15-December 31, Glebe Spree rewards shoppers receive a stamp for every $20 worth of purchases made at participating Glebe merchants. Once they have collected $200 worth of stamps, their ballot is eligible to enter the drawing for a
Gettin’ Diggy With It
Whenever a municipality decides to undertake a construction project, no matter the size, the public perception is often one of inconvenience and ugliness. In reality, despite the inconveniences they impart, construction projects are tied to progress with something being improved upon or something new being created. As best practice, the Hartford Business Improvement District (HBID) designs, prints, and provides non-traditional construction signage to aid local businesses affected by major
Tony Seba Master Talk
Tony Seba is a lecturer in entrepreneurship disruption, and clean energy at Stanford University, a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a world-renowned thought leader and speaker. He is the author of the #1 best-selling book “Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation – How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030”.
Kemi Ilesanmi Master Talk
Kemi Ilesanmi is the Executive Director of The Laundromat Project, which brings arts, artists, and arts programming into local coinops to amplify the creativity that already exists within communities. With over 15 years experience in the cultural arena, she is inspired by the immense possibilities for joy and social impact at the intersection of arts and community. Prior to joining The LP, she was Director of Grants and Services at Creative Capital Foundation.
Stuart Mangrum Master Talk
A member of the Burning Man community since 1993, Stuart was one of the organization’s first year-round volunteers. In his current role he focuses on cultural development programs including public education, staff and volunteer training, and historical documentation. He is also deeply involved in the event’s creative direction, as co-author of the last three event themes and a collaborator in designing the Black Rock City experience.
Tyler Norris Master Talk
Tyler Norris, MDiv, is an entrepreneur and founder of over a dozen businesses and social ventures. His three decades of service in the public, private and non-profit sectors have focused on population health, community vitality, and equitable prosperity. Currently, he serves as vice president, Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente, where he helps lead the implementation of “anchor institution” work.
Tim Tompkins – San Francisco
Tim Tompkins has been the President of the Times Square Alliance since 2002. The Alliance is a business improvement district that works to improve and promote Times Square – cultivating the creativity, energy and edge that have made the area an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life for over a century. Prior to coming to the Alliance, he was the Founder and Director of Partnerships for Parks, which works to support New York City’s neighborhood parks.
Shirley Clarke Franklin Master Talk
Ms. Shirley Franklin was elected Mayor of the City of Atlanta and served two terms from 2002 to 2009. Franklin’s record of civic involvement spans over three decades, including digital advocacy for underserved communities, the arts, homelessness and higher education. She also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Purpose Built Communities, a national holistic community revitalization organization and President of Clarke-Franklin and Associates, Inc.
Anijo Punnen Mathew
Anijo Punnen Mathew is an Associate Professor at IIT Institute of Design (ID). His research looks at evaluating new semantic appropriations of place as enabled by technology and media convergence. During his master talk at the 62nd Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Atlanta, Georgia, Sept. 7-9, 2016, Dan discussed adapting to the information economy through the use of design methodology and theory.
Ry Moran Master Talk
Ry Moran is the Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation located at the University of Manitoba. In addition to working with his team to build the Centre from the ground up, Ry continues to advocate for Survivors, truth and reconciliation with commentary in radio, print and television. Ry is a proud member of the Métis Nation.
Lourdes Ramirez Master Talk
Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez is an accomplished executive dedicated to building partnerships, improving lives and communities, and expanding economic, educational and health opportunities. She is currently the President of the University Health System Foundation in San Antonio, Bexar County, and South Texas.
Michael Berne Master Talk
Michael Berne is one of North America’s foremost experts in Downtown and Main Street retail. As President of MJB Consulting (MJB), he has worked in cities and towns across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and he has also spoken and written extensively on the subject. He is currently penning a chapter to a forthcoming volume on Suburban Downtowns and writing a book on “A New Retail Paradigm for the City Center.”
Vanessa German Master Talk
Vanessa German is a visual and performance artist based in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood, whose cast-off relics form the language of her copiously embellished sculptures. She is also the founder of Love Front Porch and the ARThouse, a community arts initiative for the children of her historic Homewood neighborhood.
Paul Jordan Master Talk
Paul Jordan is the CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Having a passion for the continued development of Winnipeg, Paul has been active in the creation of waterfront access projects, which have led to multiple initiatives within the city. He was instrumental in the creation and implementation of Target Zero, The Forks’ environmental vision to reach zero carbon emissions.
Mukul Malhotra Master Talk
Urban Designer Mukul Malhotra develops innovative solutions for the new American city. As a Principal at MIG, Inc. and Director of MIG’s San Antonio office, his award-winning designs have created thriving downtowns and historic districts as well as livable new communities and university campuses. His work has inspired urban revitalization, multimodal connectivity, sustainability, community inclusivity, and preservation of historic and neighborhood character.
IDA’s Urban Place Management Narrative Toolkit
For decades urban place management professionals have been waking up each day, determined to improve their cities, strategically fill vacant buildings, activate public spaces, and more. They have had great success, but, too often their work goes unnoticed by the general public. IDA’s toolkit provides a framework for communicating IDA members commitment to shaping dynamic city centers all around the world. It includes key messages and facts about the downtown management industry.
NIMBYs, Elites & Socialists, Oh My!: How Downtown Organizations are Navigating New Political Turbulence
In many cities and downtowns our newfound success is leading to high housing costs, spiraling labor rates and the rapid gentrification of neighborhoods. Without interventions to promote affordable housing, stabilize neighborhoods, workforce training, public education and other social equity measures, many cities are at risk of losing what makes them authentic, and arguably the DNA for their economic vitality. Downtown organizations have a role in this debate and can help shape local policies.
INTHEGLEBE.CA – A Digital Neighbourhood Experience
The Glebe Business Improvement Area was created to turn Ottawa’s oldest, most beloved neighborhood into the most forward-thinking location in the country. The first step? Give the local merchants a strong, unified digital presence within our own BIA website. After two years of live experimentation, intheglebe.ca’s most recent redesign was meant to improve user navigation and search, provide merchants and website administrators with more intuitive management, and improve the overall experience.
Neighborhood 360°: Planning for the Future of New York City Commercial Districts
In order to begin the deployment of what is now known as N360°, SBS developed a strategic public-private partnership with LISC NYC and Citi Community Development, aided by technical assistance from Larisa Ortiz Associates, to develop an assessment tool and analytical framework — a “Commercial District Needs Assessment” (CDNA) — that would help SBS to engage community partners in evaluating existing conditions and identifying needs of a commercial district.
Downtown Topeka Events & Programming
Downtown Topeka, Inc. established a goal to make downtown the entertainment center of the community. To reach this objective Downtown Topeka, Inc. began creating events to attract a broad range of targeted demographics to rediscover and enjoy Topeka’s downtown. The goal was also to make a-majority-of the events Free to the public, this was accomplished through Business Improvement District funding and DTI sponsorship development.
“OUR EDGE. YOUR _____.” Marketing Campaign
After the King of Prussia District celebrated their five-year mark, staff knew it would be important to reevaluate the brand of the organization and district moving forward. KOP-BID hired a local marketing and branding agency to help create a new logo, energized tagline, exciting website and playful, but focused, advertising. Through thoughtful analysis and planning, KOP-BID was able to speak directly to a newly defined target audience.
Engage and Grow Your Audience with Digital Marketing
The customer journey has transitioned to a mobile first, content driven, digital ecosystem. In this new digital landscape, it can be daunting to plan, execute, maintain and evaluate a digital marketing plan. This session brings together best practices to identify and engage your audience, amplify your reach, bring visibility to your businesses and drive foot traffic to your district. Learn simple tactics that can be implemented right away, even if youre digitally challenged.
It Might be All About the Experiences, But Experiences Do Not Pay the Rent
Retail expert Michael Berne, President of MJB Consulting, lays out the fundamentals of experiential retail, its do’s and don’ts, how it works, and how experiences tie in to successful retail. Make sure your downtown retailers are employing the age old strategy of experiential retail in a way that helps boost their business.
Art of the State: Leveraging Local Culture and Creativity
This session will present a snapshot of case studies that engage makers, artists and other creatives in downtown promotions, placemaking and development projects. Great Downtowns of all sizes are identified by their cultural environment. We will explore how both large and small investments in arts and creativity can return dividends that multiply.
Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest
For over 25 years, Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, produced by the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association (DBA), has been an example of spirited collaboration, extensive outreach, elaborate planning and far-reaching economic and cultural impact. This family-friendly, three-day music festival is co-produced by the DBA and Bohemian Nights and is a primary fundraiser for the DBA’s year-round programming and public space initiatives.
Consumer Trends and Patterns in Retail
This presentation shares examples of contemporary strategies in brick and mortar retail to boost appeal to consumers and create a more experience driven offering to entice consumers.
DTLA IRL: A Pop Up Case Study
In December 2018, the Downtown Center BID launched DTLA // IRL a multi-faceted pop-up activation showcasing Downtown’s culture, community, and commerce. The project comprised three main elements: a visitor’s center, retail store, and event space, and served as a promotional vehicle for the Downtown retail market and a variety of local businesses, highlighting local art and culture, and engaging the local community of residents, workers, and visitors.
Experience Hastings Crossing
Experience Hastings Crossing (HxBIA) was an inaugural week-long event aimed at both facilitating and showcasing unique partnerships between HxBIA businesses and Downtown Eastside social enterprises and nonprofit organizations. HxBIA invited locals and visitors to learn about these partnerships and support local community organizations through purchasing special features at businesses.
The Orange Gnome Project
Although the urban forest is thriving in many ways, in the Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area #33, the region lost 7% of its trees in just 4 years to disease, pests and human carelessness. During the week of Arbor Day 2016, WPB SSA hung large tags with facts about the benefits provided by urban trees. The organization also wanted to do something that would give a nod to the quirky and artistic reputation of the neighborhoods.
Trick-or-Treat with East Midtown
The East Midtown Partnership launched a free Halloween celebration in 2015 inviting neighboring residents into the commercial core of the district to trick-or-treat and also familiarize themselves with downtown retail. An estimated 1,000 families attended the event in 2015, with just under 60 participating businesses. Because of their event’s initial success, The East Midtown Partnership expanded the event in 2016 and participation doubled to 2,000 families, and more than 80 businesses!
Downtown Cleveland Alliance 3-tiered Marketing Campaign
Downtown Cleveland Alliance accomplished the goal of creating economic impact for their community through a strategic and innovative three-tiered marketing campaign involving the development of print and digital advertising, the production of an annual video, and the creation of native advertising content.
Downtown in December
In 2016, Downtown Greensboro, Inc. (DGI) was tasked with taking over the annual Festival of Lights, a hallmark holiday event for the community. With the goal of lighting up downtown throughout the holidays, DGI expanded holiday programming and created “Downtown in December,” a month-long celebration featuring the Festival of Lights, a holiday parade, carolers, Santa visits, an ice rink and a Santa-Con pub crawl.
Downtown Rideau Mural Boxes Art Exhibit Tour
Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area (DRBIA), in partnership with the City of Ottawa, expanded an initiative initially designed by the city as a project to reduce graffiti removal maintenance costs on utility boxes by vinyl wrapping them in a transit motif design. The D.R.B.I.A took the initiative to an entirely different level by building on its brand as Ottawa’s Arts, Fashion & Theatre District and turning the utility boxes into original works of art.
Downtown Skywalk App
The Downtown Des Moines skywalks provide a simple and convenient way to get around no matter the season. The SkyWalkDSM app is a handy way for visitors and locals to navigate downtown through the climate-controlled skywalks. The skywalk itself is nearly four miles long and connects individuals to businesses, restaurants, shopping, events and hotels. The skywalk network system is nearly four miles long and connects individuals to businesses, restaurants, shopping, events and hotels.
Downtown Fresno was dealt a heavy blow when the San Francisco Giants announced they were pulling their Triple-A team from the city after 17 years. The Fresno Grizzlies and downtown Fresno decided to embrace their core traits and idiosyncrasies, celebrating the elements that made them unique, proclaiming the community a “Growlifornia Republic” a rally cry for downtown.
Inspired by IDA: The 2017 State of Downtown
In 2014, Downtown Fresno Partnership (DFP) reimagined their State of Downtown as a happy hour event that engaged a non-traditional audience instead of the standard sit-down meeting. During IDA’s Conference in San Francisco, Kate Joncas, deputy mayor of Seattle, said, “You gotta leave people wowed.” When planning began for the 2017 State of Downtown, DFP set out to make it a celebration of the businesses, organizations and partnerships that work every day to form downtown’s unique atmosphere.
Main Street Food Truck Festival
About six years ago, the Downtown Little Rock Partnership began focusing on Main Street’s empty buildings by boarding up the windows and creating the Main Street Food Truck Festival (MSFTF) DLRP’s aim was to bring people back to downtown. Since the festival began in 2011, restaurants, offices, a technology park, theaters, and art galleries have opened or reopened on Main Street. In that same time, food truck participation has increased 271% with diverse trucks from across the state joining.
SouthSounds: The Little Festival that Could
Mobile, Alabama is home to a lively music scene with fans who wanted something new. Old-style festivals kept patrons on-site, minimizing the impact to downtown businesses. A committee formed and came up with a novel concept for a music and art festival. The festival had to be fresh, with a focus on emerging Southern music. Stages would be set up inside existing bars and restaurants.
Biscayne Green – A Public Space Intervention Showcasing a Reimagined Biscayne Boulevard
The 2025 Downtown Miami Master Plan includes a goal to permanently transform Biscayne Boulevard into an urban boulevard that features a pedestrian promenade, emphasizes transit, and provides bicycle infrastructure. An objective of the Biscayne Green Temporary Intervention was to bring awareness of the barrier effect Biscayne Boulevard represents and to showcase how these spaces can be turned around into a local destination for green space, entertainment, and community.
A week-long celebration of Hamilton’s culinary scene, NOSH, took place during National Small Business Week from October 17 to 23, 2016. The response by the culinary community was overwhelming, chiefly because of the massive embrace by traditional media and those on social media. NOSH produced more events than anticipated, generated a massive amount of positive exposure for the city, and drove sales to participating businesses.
Inside Downtown Delray Beach Video Series
The Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) launched their “Inside Downtown Delray Beach Video Series” to highlight the unique attributes and authenticity of downtown. The business owners, residents and visitors, also known as the “faces behind the spaces,” were given an opportunity to express what they love most about downtown. Conveying vibrancy, activity friendliness, and walkability in the marketing and PR messaging was crucial to sustaining and growing Downtown Delray Beach.
Recent residential and hotel developments heightened the need for The Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency to develop additional programming for the district. What evolved was an idea to celebrate Italian culture with the goal of creating an exciting and memorable event highlighting the downtown greenspace, and benefiting both attendees and the downtown merchant community.
Lower Manhattan Restaurant Video Series
Lower Manhattan’s food scene, from the restaurants that perennially grace the pages of a Michelin guide to hole-in-the-wall gems that only locals know of, has quietly been booming. While publications like the Associated Press and Bloomberg News have taken notice, the perception of the neighborhood as an after-hours ghost town lingers. To address that misconception and to increase awareness of the breadth of restaurants that call Lower Manhattan home, the Alliance created a monthly video series.
San Antonio 2017 Bond Process -Creating Places. Connecting Us.
Centro San Antonio convened a group of volunteers to look at a different approach to the traditional method the city used to identify and select bond projects. The mission of the group, the Catalytic Bond Committee, was to develop recommendations and then champion the compelling and catalytic projects with a potential to both transform downtown and materially impact the entire city.
The MARTA Makeover Project
The Five Points MARTA Station Makeover project is an effort led by Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District to evaluate, design, and execute creative placemaking enhancements for Atlanta’s south-central business district. Because Five Points station is often a person’s entry point into Downtown Atlanta, this project offers an array of tactics to improve the experience and foster positive emotional responses to this public space for range of population segments.
2017 State of Downtown Opener
The Downtown Fresno Partnership (DFP) has utilized videos to help tell the story of downtown Fresno. To date, these videos have debuted at the yearly State of Downtown event as a vehicle to show what happened throughout the year with a nod to the exciting developments on the horizon. In 2017, the decision was made to take the video back to the beginning, revisiting the formation of DFP and charting some of the highlights downtown has seen over the last six years.
Delray Beach Fashion Week
The 4th Annual Delray Beach Fashion Week was a five-day event that showcased the unique mix of Downtown Delray Beach fashion retailers, designers, salons and artists. The goals of this merchant-driven program were to increase awareness and revenue for retailers, enhance the economic vitality of the entire downtown business community, highlight different neighborhoods and raise funds for the Achievement Centers for Children and Families (ACCF).
Downtown Santa Monica Annual Meeting Video
After many years of hosting annual meetings, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) noticed that messaging about the day-to-day management of the district was getting lost between presentations about transit and development, shiny new programs, grant funding or controversial regional and national topics. DTSM asked themselves, How do we share our passions with the world in a way that doesnt put them to sleep?
First Wednesday Art Walk
For the past 13 years, Downtown Vision Inc. (DVI) has produced the First Wednesday Art Walk in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville. This innovative event acts as an economic development tool supporting downtown merchants and cultural entities while improving the vitality of downtown through the arts. With more than 10,000 people participating each month, Art Walk has grown into a treasured street festival, one that is constantly reimagined to mirror the diversity of Jacksonville.
While Water Street remains an important corridor in Lower Manhattan, and home to 100,000 workers and 12,000 residents, poor building design and planning and the lack of a vibrant streetscape makes it uninviting to tourists, residents, and people who work in the area. To combat the inertia gripping the cityscape and put Water Street’s potential on display, the Alliance for Downtown New York launched “Game On!” to bring vibrancy and activity to the corridor.
Activating Underutilized Parking Space for Public Use
During 2016, Anchorage, Alaska entered into a recession; consequently, parking use was showing signs of decline. The ACDA was tasked to re-think usage of existing parking assets. ACDA activated underutilized parking spaces on the rooftop of a parking garage, creating a new community asset for everyone to enjoy. The Rooftop featured a half-court basketball, ping pong tables, a concrete chess table and lots of benches to enjoy a lunch break or take in the beautiful mountain scenery.
2017 Grand Illumination Parade – Facebook Live and TV Broadcast
The Downtown Norfolk Council (DNC) has produced the Grand Illumination Parade – the premier holiday parade in the region and a Southeast Tourism Top 20 Event – since 1985. Beginning in 1989, we broadcast the parade live in prime time on broadcast television as a way to further distinguish our parade as the region’s best. In 2016, with a tight budget, and changes in the way people are consuming media, we realized it was time to evaluate the current parade broadcast program and our objectives.
Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
The Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park is a nearly full-?sized ice rink that sits downtown at the corner of 16th and Arapahoe St. and is open daily from Nov. 22, 2017 Feb. 14, 2018. The rink is part of a series of strategic initiatives from the Downtown Denver Partnership that helps to create diverse and attractive programming and encourage a wide variety of cultural, leisure, entertainment and recreation in Downtown Denver’s parks and public spaces.
Get It In The Glebe – Awareness Marketing Campaign
Leading up to 2017, the Glebe neighborhood had seen significant changes to its product mix, including new retail, award-winning restaurants, increased events and programming, and the completion of the Lansdowne area featuring a park, recreational facilities and a stadium. The shift in the Glebe’s amenity and entertainment offerings created an opportunity for Glebe BIA to re-position the neighborhood as the place to visit while encouraging all to Get it in the Glebe.”
The Best of Cape Town Central City 2018 guide
The Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) began to look for ways to promote the many offerings that had become integral to the Central City and, in particular, to add value to the stakeholders that had invested in the CBD in “Eat”, “Stay”, “Play” “Shop” or “Visit” destinations. To fulfill this, “The Best of Cape Town Central City” guide was created in 2009, originally published in conjunction with the internationally
Welcome to Rosslyn Video Strategy
Rosslyn has transformed from a 9-to-5 employment hub to a vibrant, mixed-use urban center. By June 2017, Rosslyn reached a critical point in its evolution, where the momentum of recent growth combined with the activation work of the Rosslyn BID created a fresh, energized vibe in the community. To create a way for stakeholders to feel what it is like to be in Rosslyn, the BID launched a comprehensive video strategy to take their brand story to the next level.
144 Activities in Town Square Park
The Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. adopted a new approach to increase the vitality, security and image of downtown, while showcasing one of downtown’s most overlooked assets: Town Square Park, a green space in the heart of downtown Anchorage. Focusing on how positive activities can organically move a space away from issues of crime, homelessness and drugs, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. facilitated a new summer program designed to bring new energy to the park through space
Books in Bloom
The Downtown Columbia Partnership (DTCP) first presented Books in Bloom in June 2017 as part of the city’s 50th anniversary year. The daylong festival included readings, panel discussions, a poetry wall, children’s craft area, story time corner, pop-up bookstore by Politics & Prose, and more. In partnership with the Howard County Library System, Books in Bloom launched the library’s summer reading program, Summer @ Your Library, and included activities for children and adults alike.
Downtown Movie Nights
The City of San Antonio established Downtown Movie Nights in 2014 to promote activation in public spaces. The free movie screenings are hosted throughout downtown within various cultural public spaces. At Travis Park and La Villita, the outdoor movies are accompanied by food trucks, themed giveaways, and pre-show programming, such as photo booths, art and educational activities for children, and special appearances from actors dressed as characters from the movie.
Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden, Toronto
The site of the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden (DRPG) was previously a concrete promontory jutting into the wide, busy intersection of Dundas Street and Roncesvalles Avenue. The site was broadly disliked by pedestrians who often dashed, unsafely across the road to get away from blazing heat in the summer or windswept barrens in winter. The Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area (RVBIA) was able to fund the DRPG project through strategic partnerships.
Fancy Animal Carnival
Five sculptures were installed in DowntownDC from May 4-Oct. 5, 2017. Each giant animal sculpture was adorned with Taiwanese symbols and motifs which created painted patterns that reflected folk culture and religion as well as the artist’s personal experiences and observations. The BID created an online walking tour of the animals, identifying each location via a map and designed an aesthetically- pleasing way to showcase the animals and offer details about each sculpture.
LIT CITY Baltimore
In 2016, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore set its sights on Preston Gardens, a green space in Downtown Baltimore positioned between the upper and lower lanes of St. Paul Street, a major artery into the city. With many projects underway, including new color-changing LED lights in the tunnel, the Marketing & Communications team brainstormed events that would engage and excite residents. The team had the idea for a party in the gardens, and it became a massive success!
Madison Night Market
A late 2016 study of downtown retail, conducted by the City of Madison and the BID, entitled “Ensuring a Vibrant Downtown Retail Destination” encouraged retail pop-ups, shop-around promotions and specialty markets as strategies to support a healthy retail district. As a direct and immediate effort to undertake strategies recommended from the study, the BID hosted the 1st ever Madison Night Markets.
Reimagining Girls’ Night Out
Oh man, Girls’ Night Out? Hasn’t that been done (to death)? Hold on a second, though. Downtown Somerville’s Girls’ Night Out is worth a look exactly because the concept is…well, maybe a little moth-eaten. If you can give an event enough of a makeover to change minds about what Girls’ Night Out is supposed to be, sell out the event a week in advance, and give skeptical businesses one of their most profitable nights of the year (at least 65 conversions on average), that’s worth talking about.
Shop for a Cause Day
The spirit of giving. Fabulous shopping. Making a difference. These are the hallmarks of Portland Downtown’s Shop for a Cause Day, a cherished community event that captures hearts while creating change. Shop for a Cause Day is designed to raise funds and awareness for local nonprofit organizations while, at the same time, showcasing our vibrant small-business community.
Things Are Looking Up: BLINK Backstage in Downtown Cincinnati
In October 2017, downtown Cincinnati saw itself with new eyes during the inaugural BLINK light and art festival. The four-day, free event was one of the largest light and art events in the nation, featuring 57 large-scale light installations projected onto iconic buildings and landmarks throughout 20 city blocks. Over one million visitors came to see BLINK, an event that showcased the city’s revitalized urban core, celebrated its historic architecture, and drove record setting traffic downtown.
Year of Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee’s Wisconsin Avenue has long served as the State’s civic and cultural “Main Street.” In spite of a recent resurgence of private investment within 16 of the Avenue’s most prominent properties, the corridor lacked the pedestrian-level vibrancy that peer-cities exude. That is, until the summer of 2017. Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 declared 2017 “The Year of Wisconsin Avenue,” with a series of public art and quality-of-life initiatives that reshaped the Avenue as the community living room.
#IgoDowntown Music Video
The Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP) hosted a launch party featuring the world premiere of the “#IgoDowntown” a music video to promote the downtown brand, showcasing local musicians Jecorey “1200” Arthur, Laura Ellis, Gayle King, Love, Joy and Faith, Frankie Moody and Ben Sollee. The upbeat video, filmed on locations throughout the Downtown area, also includes special performances by CirqueLouis, Dance 360, The Louisville Leopards and Squallis Puppeteers.
Golden Triangle Neighborhood Plan
The Golden Triangle Neighborhood Plan, unanimously adopted in 2014, outlined a vision, goals, plan framework, and implementation strategies for the eclectic district’s evolution and continued improvement. The Neighborhood Plan set forth a comprehensive, holistic approach, weaving together a nuanced set of strategies that collectively fostered an eclectic, creative, connected, and livable Golden Triangle.
Music in the Park 2017 Marketing Campaign
With a newly created Marketing, Communications and Events Director on staff, San Jose Downtown Association took its four-concert Music in the Park series marketing to a whole new level, focusing on on-site digital photo kiosks, email marketing automation and strategic social media. Not only did Music in the Park achieve record attendance and revenues, marketing for the 2018 season and beyond has gathered momentum and general Downtown San Jose marketing capabilities have improved dramatically.
Oswego, New York, DRI Strategic Investment Plan
The small city of Oswego parlayed a $10 million state grant into more than $50 million in new downtown investment. Even after years of decline, Oswego retains some important assets to build on: walkable scale, historic buildings, and a beautiful setting on the Oswego River. The city won state funding to create a plan that identified specific projects, explained how they would benefit downtown, and showed that they could attract other money.
South End Vision Plan
Among the fastest-growing urban districts in the US, Charlotte’s Historic South End neighborhood has experienced rapid revival and reinvention. With room still to grow, we created a vision plan that will guide billions of dollars in new public and private investment throughout the business improvement district. Following mixed reactions to redevelopment, it became clear that action was needed to ensure that future growth would preserve the South End’s historic charm and its authenticity.
The Minneapolis Big Build
The Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID) tracks their progress with a perception survey of downtown workers, residents, and visitors. In 2015 and 2016 surveys showed significant decreases in the perception of downtown Minneapolis cleanliness. The #1 reason was construction. Led by the DID, the team developed a POV about all the construction called “The Minneapolis Big Build.” The campaign kicked off with www.MplsBuild.com which communicated the details of the projects.
201 Portage Canada Day Living Maple Leaf
Since 2011, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has been engaging the public by challenging Winnipeggers to help claim the title of largest living flag in Canada. Volunteers from the community are invited to become part of a larger mosaic in various iconic downtown locations. A banner year was in 2012, when Winnipeg’s Canada Living Flag defended its record, while the photo of that year’s living flag was selected to be produced as an official Canada Post stamp, inking over 10 million copies.
A Creative Placemaking Guide for Business Districts to Work With Local Artists
This creative placemaking toolkit was created specifically for business districts, offering guidance on engagement with local artists to best enhance the experience and vitality of a place. This guide showcases strategies to integrate the talents and ideas of multiple artists to best address the unique opportunities and challenges in BIDs. The toolkit includes case studies of the six unique placemaking projects funded by IDA, Springboard for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.Read More
Bicycle Roadside Assistance Program
The Hartford Business Improvement District’s (HBID) free on-site bicycle roadside assistance program is the first of its kind in the nation. HBID Ambassadors will fix a flat, inflate a tire, replace a tube, reattach a slipped chain or tighten up loose bolts, free of charge, anywhere in our District. This program, designed to support cyclists and foster an increase in bicycle commuting, received international attention with news stories running in outlets across the US and Canada.
Downtowner Free Ride Service
After five years of planning, on October 20, 2016 the Tampa Downtown Partnership launched an innovative micro-transit service to complement the existing downtown mobility options within the 760-acre Special Service District. Made possible through the generous support from both the public and private sector, this mobile app-based, on-demand free ride service, Downtowner, was quickly adopted by Downtown workers, residents, visitors and students.
Leeds International Festival (LIF)
Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) has acted as catalyst and funder for the realization of a vison to create an aspirational, overarching festival to promote the vitality of downtown as a world-class destination. From an initial proposal in September 2016, the inaugural Leeds International Festival (LIF) took place in April 2017; a festival of 35 events over 8 days in front of an audience of 17,000.
London Arts Live
London Arts Live— the first program of its kind in Canada—is a city-wide pop-up art program that places professional artists in urban spaces to reinvigorate local businesses and offer Londoners new opportunities to engage with and experience the arts. With a particular focus on downtown, the program showcases London’s artistic talent across all performative disciplines — including dance, multimedia, music, theatre, and visual arts — artists perform in parks, streets, and
Nuart Aberdeen is an internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning street art festival that premiered in Aberdeen in April 2017. The festival was delivered through developing a close collaborative approach with Nuart in Stavanger, Norway where it began in 2001 and is widely considered to be the world’s premier celebration of Street Art among its peers. Nuart Aberdeen was delivered by Aberdeen Inspired, the Business Improvement District (BID) organization.
Raising BIA Awareness: #BIAweek Twitter Chat
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and the City of Toronto’s BIA Office worked together to declare “BIA Week” in the City of Toronto for January 29 February 2, 2018. The goal of the event was for Toronto BIAs to educate Councilors, City Staff and the public about what BIAs are and how they contribute to Toronto. This included information displays and decoration in the City Hall rotunda for the week and a reception hosted by TABIA with City Councilors and Staff.
A groundswell of entrepreneurial and creative activity is changing Dayton. Over a series of townhall-style meetings and detailed work sessions, the Start Downtown initiative brought together more than 100 enterprising Daytonians to devise new strategies and grassroots projects to foster collaboration and connections between entrepreneurs and provide better support the creative culture rapidly emerging. Start Downtown won an IDA Excellence award at the 2018 IDA Conference.
Westwood Village/UCLA Block Party
Westwood Village is a heavily used and densely populated 25-square block commercial district that shares a border with the UCLA campus. Despite the proximity, many UCLA students remain insulated on campus and are not aware of district businesses, or events and activities that take place in the community. The Westwood Business Improvement District (WBID), understood that they needed to hold a grand event to attract and then entertain thousands of people at once to introduce students to downtown.
Top Issues Council: Place Branding – How to Brand and Market Your District
Each downtown and urban district is unique and offers different experiences. More than just a logo, tagline or marketing campaign, place branding identifies and distills a district down to its core identity and sense of place. The IDA Place Branding Top Issues Council has developed this report as a guide for urban districts to evaluate different tools and approaches for their own place branding efforts. Learn best practices and strategies to brand and market your district.Read More
Top Issues Council: Maintaining Authenticity of Place
This report defines the various elements that contribute to the authenticity of a place. This report highlights a ten-point authenticity checklist on: engaged and involved property ownership; commercial diversity and independent businesses; built environment; walkability and accessibility; places that are clean, safe, attractive and welcoming; diversity and culture; public spaces; theater, arts and culture; historic preservation; and vibrancy.Read More
Changing Face of Economic Development: Land Use, Sustainability, and Housing
The nature of retail is changing in the digital age, and so are its consumers. This presentation walks through what changes are occurring and what to expect in the future, as well as how to help retailers adapt and succeed.
Community Building – Creative Placemaking
Place management organizations work at the cross-section of thoughtful development and making culture accessible, increasing the quality of life for our districts. Pola Bunster, Director of Storytelling, Prism Creative Group, talks about the creative placemaking projects she has undertaken in Miami, tapping into the city’s culture to tell a story and create an experience.
Internet VS IRL, and the Power of FOMO
Events can be a significant and reliable strategy for attracting people to downtown. The panelists share their strategies and marketing tactics to put on successful events.
Social Media: How to Tell the Story of a Place in Eight Seconds
There is an art and science to social media communications and marketing. Amy Blaschka, Founder and Storyteller at AmyBlaschka.com, Jason Gilbert, CEO at Saltwater Software, Ariana Gomez (former) Marketing Director at LA Fashion District BID, and Kerry Inserra, Associate Director at Walnut Creek Downtown Association share the secrets to effective communication on social media.
The Underline – Building a 10 Mile Greenway
Meg Daly, Founder of Friends of the Underline, shares her story of turning a crazy idea for a 10 mile greenway project into a reality. She walks through the community engagement process and gives her advice for demonstrating the project’s importance to the community and government partners.
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Advisory Panel: Strategy for Housing Growth
IDA’s Advisory Panels are a time-tested way to explore new ideas, solve difficult problems, and rally the board, staff and community around priority projects or topics. This panel was asked to identify the challenges and obstacles for building new housing in downtown, as well as identify resources and tools available for creating new housing. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations.Read More
South Side Pittsburgh Advisory Panel: Mission Update and Solving Community Challenges
IDA’s Advisory Panels are a time-tested way to explore new ideas, solve difficult problems, and rally the board, staff and community around priority projects or topics. This panel focused on creating a strategic framework for the South Side Local Development Company, assessing the viability of an improvement district, and providing expert insight on best practices for economic vitality. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations.Read More
Fresno Advisory Panel: Demand for a PBID
IDA’s Advisory Panels are a time-tested way to explore new ideas, solve difficult problems, and rally the board, staff and community around priority projects or topics. This panel was tasked with weighing the demand for a PBID and assessing the benefits and challenges of implementation. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations.Read More
Place Branding Top Issues Council: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
More than merely marketing campaigns, Place Branding explores the features that make your downtown or urban space unique among others: those quirky spaces and interesting places that define your urban experience. The best practices, lessons learned, and surprising tips can assist planners in defining strategies for physical manifestations of their community’s cultures in public spaces.
Retro Districts: Leveraging Arts, Culture, and Heritage
In the resurgence of downtowns, cultural districts have become a highly effective catalyst for cultivating authentic mixed-use districts that encourage the people who have historically lived and worked in a place to be part of its future. Cultural districts can take many forms, but ultimately are successful because they are true to a place and its people. Learn about cultural districts augmenting the downtowns of San Antonio, Charlotte and Denver.
User-Tailored Tracking: From Data Collection to Stakeholder Presentation
Urban district management organizations do not always have technology staff capable of in-depth analyses and database development; if they do, they might collaborate with less tech-savvy partners who are responsible for data collection and tracking. This presentation explores simple and creative methods of collecting and sharing data that can be tailored to the individual user, while holding the safety and security of sensitive data to high standards.
Engaging Millennials and Shoppers in the Digital Age
Millennials have built a reputation as the digital generation and although convenience and price are critical to keeping these customers, their spending patterns and lifestyle preferences suggest they also place value on personalized experiences and brand authenticity, both, in-store and online. This session brings together experts in the field of downtown marketing, website development, and Facebook marketing science to share best practice on successful downtown and small business marketing.Read More
If You Build It, They Will Come – Building and Promoting Your Retail Destinations
This session delves into attracting a consumer base in the changing retail environment through the creation of specific economic development initiatives and strategic destination marketing to drive traffic. Using two case studies, the Selden Market and Glebe Spree 150, Speakers will discuss the relationship between building retail spaces and promoting those places to draw consumers again and again.Read More
The Neighborhood Your Brand Built
Managing a brand is just as complex, challenging, and occasionally joyful as managing a place is. In the age of social media and global competition, districts rely on brand to communicate their character and deliver impressions. Though varied in scale, geography, and governance, these districts share a common understanding of the vital role place brands play in expressing the essence of a location.
To Outsource or Not to Outsource: How to Monetize Events
Does your organization produce numerous events? Is it labor intensive and are you asking yourself should we be doing these events in house or outsource to a vendor? Attend this session and learn from practitioners with different perspectives on why they do events in house and/or outsource.
As urban district professionals, we are all trying to create the foundations for growing new businesses, filling vacant spaces, and creating new jobs and vibrancy. Our expert panel will discuss how different cities and institutions are driving innovation, launching and running successful incubator spaces, and working with private and public partners to cultivate the right environment for new businesses to develop, grow and thrive.
Shop Small: Supporting Independent Businesses in Your Community
Supporting local, small businesses is important to the regional economy. In this session, youll hear from three communities who utilized Small Business Saturday, an annual U.S. small business holiday shopping tradition created by American Express in 2010, to help initiate year-round Shop Small movements in their districts. Learn how to find local partners, leverage social media and activate your downtown to make a big impact on your small business community.
Wake Up and Smell the Residents: How Residents are Changing the Place Management Industry
This session will review the growing role of residential in downtowns and the importance of integrating residential uses into place management. Panelists will offer tools to accommodate residential needs in healthy and complete communities. Highlights of IDA’s 2016 Top Issues Council on Downtown Residential will set the stage for a discussion about working with residents in place management organizations.
Activating Uncommon Spaces to Produce Memorable Events
From empty alleys to mall parking to sidewalks, the uncommon spaces of a community can provide the perfect location for “outside the box” events designed to revitalize the area. By activating these forgotten spaces, you can make the most of these unused urban assets and bring new life and crucial economic development to your community.
Downtown Districts at the Table: Top Safety Topics of 2017
Every thriving downtown community requires public safety. As downtown centers become re-populated with residents crime has shifted to include dangerous behaviors. Police forces have been thinning and patrols may not be as commonplace. More city centers are destinations for major events, which may also make them targets. How do districts plan for public safety? As a part of IDA’s Top Issues Council, the Safety & Security team explored this topic and more.
If You Build It, They Won’t Necessarily Come: Re-Shaping The Narrative of a Place
After years of work, your place is improving: business is good and streets are clean. But old reputations die hard, and problems remain framed a certain way. What if we want people to see places, problems and possibilities differently? Hear diverse places share how they used public space management, programming and public-private partnerships to change the narrative, and offer for discussion and commentary the perception or problem you want to change.Read More
Mapping Authenticity: Contemporary Mapping
Maps are the primary way that we orient ourselves to places. But they aren’t neutral: by highlighting some features while obscuring others, they are powerful tools for making meaning. Today, civic data and mobile technologies give us unprecedented control over visualizing place — and new ways for telling authentic, place-based stories.Read More
12 Steps to Sponsorship Success
This presentation teaches the proper sales method for garnering the most sponsorships in any economy and how to position your sponsorship so that people want to buy it. You will be given the 12 steps needed to ensure sponsorship success from initial concept, to taking inventory, to establishing media partners, to determining your best partners, the sales process, making the sale, and post event follow up to ensure renewal.
Bridging the Gap – Blending Social and Business Agendas in Your BIA or BID District
Diversity creates excitement, vibrancy, and economic resilience, and can be the heart of a successful urban center offering a place to combat discrimination and social isolation. BIA’s can play an active role in ensuring commercial districts are inclusive places for all people. This panel provides examples from three BIA’s on how to create welcoming urban centers for all.
Charrette Planning for Urban Spaces Leaders
Learn how collaboration by design is transforming urban centers globally. Learn to assess any design project and determine the right type of charrette for your business district! Through case studies, you will learn to activate the unique creative potential of all stakeholders by embedding them in the design process using the National Charrette Institute (NCI) Charrette System approach.Read More
Teaming Up To Clean Up
Teaming Up To Clean Up showcases partnerships with local stakeholders to clean and beautify their cities. Best practices include businesses and communities working together to improve storefronts, and reduce graffiti and litter while focusing on cigarette litter, recycling, and needle waste. Case studies in this presentation show how organizations can achieve best practices in maintaining cleanliness and building vibrancy in urban settings.
The Business of Winter
How are winters in Tampa, Florida and Winnipeg, Canada the same? As you can imagine, Winnipeg is very cold in the winter and they have been very successful in activating the Red and Assiniboine Rivers and The Forks Marketplace during a time of year when everyone likes to hibernate. Downtown Tampa, decided to take promoting winter with a twist! This presentation shares creative holiday event ideas for warm and cold climates!
Become a Local Partner with Google
The mission of Google’s Get Your Business Online program is to help every business be found by every customer looking for them online. Learn how you can partner with Google to help the small businesses you work with in your community, using resources, trainings, gear and one-on-one help from the Google team, all completely free of cost.Read More