News from the Top

IDA Members vs. Climate Change


The heatwave devastating the Pacific Northwest is yet another signal of the challenges we face and the responsibilities we all have in combating climate change. We often consider good, sustainable urban development, in and of itself, a solution for reducing carbon emissions and doing our part to address global warming. And it’s true. Low-impact, higher-density walkable communities are inherently more sustainable. However, IDA members have the potential to be more exacting in their sustainability efforts.

IDA members can epitomize being “glocal,” thinking globally (climate change and sustainability) while acting locally (recycling, greening, mobility options, etc.). More than just local–meaning at the city scale–we are hyperlocal, effecting change in smaller subareas within the cities we serve.

IDA members deliver hyperlocal impacts, such as the IDA award-winning 19th Street Rain Garden in the Golden Triangle BID here in Washington D.C. I’m also looking for more examples to showcase later this year.

In partnership with the Association of Town and City Management in the U.K., plans are underway to co-host a virtual event alongside the UK-COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, this November. COP, standing for “Conference of the Parties,” is the annual U.N. climate change conference. COP 21 was responsible for the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted by 196 parties at COP 21 in 2015 in Paris, France.

Five years later, Glasgow will serve as host to the 26th meeting of the conference, postponed last year due to COVID-19. Most importantly, COP 26 marks the year countries will be asked to commit to renewed and even more ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by the middle of this century.

We hope to showcase how place management organizations can be active change agents and contributors to limiting climate change. Please share your values, programs, initiatives, and strategies for the future to become a more sustainable urban district by emailing a summary of your efforts to Whether for a side event at COP 26 or to better equip other IDA members with sustainability program opportunities, we must begin to share and develop ways we all can address the climate change emergency.