News from the Top

Fall Gatherings Inspire Renewed Hope


If you are a data junkie like me, the past 18 or so months have included a healthy diet of virology readings, data chart examinations and conflicting interpretations of science being real or fake news. It’s been tiresome and intriguing all at the same time. And while the trajectory of the pandemic and its impact on our city centers remains uncertain, I’m optimistic it will soon plateau and we can consider COVID-19 an endemic as we re-engage to restore our districts to their total capacity.

The time is now to double down on a commitment to rebuilding the future of our cities and find a new enthusiasm, a renewed leadership focus, and the will to envision a brighter day ahead. Delta variant cases are beginning to subside overall in North America and a new highly infectious variant is not on the immediate horizon. Projections for return to office suggest the U.S. will experience significant recovery in the first half of 2022 and a Canadian summer should yield up-and-coming trends.

Each fall, we begin to plan for the year ahead, often informed by insights gained at annual industry meetings. This week, the Urban Land Institute and the International Economic Development Council are holding in-person conferences to explore the future of real estate and employment. Building Owners and Managers International convened their live conference just last week. Henry Chamberlain, BOMA CEO, shared with me how the energy and optimism were palpable throughout their event in Boston. More than anything, BOMA members re-engaged in leadership discussions and reignited enthusiasm for overcoming the challenges that lay ahead.

Next week in Tampa will be no different for IDA. Still, I want to challenge us all to consider how those in attendance, and how IDA as a community of leaders, can find ways to share the insights gained with all our colleagues who cannot attend in-person. We are also planning today for 2022. Our plans will shape IDA’s education, research and advocacy on the priority for shaping cities within the new normal. We will prioritize topics related to the future of work, the evolved role of public space, improving physical and social infrastructure, and doubling down our focus on building truly equitable and inclusive districts.

IDA remains committed to empowering our members with the tools to shape inspired cities of the future. I look forward to connecting with each member attending next week’s conference in Tampa and sharing broadly the insights we gain with all members in the months ahead. Thank you all for continuing to support your communities, your colleagues, the place management profession and IDA!

Registration / Waitlist for the 67th Annual Conference & Marketplace is now closed. Please note, there will be no on-site registration. If you have any questions, please email IDA at Thank you!