The Union Square-14th Street District Vision Plan is a long-term vision for the district and a comprehensive plan for USP’s future capital investments and public programs. The plan is a collaborative project driven by community input and developed in coordination with design consultants led by Marvel. The project kicked off in September 2018 as a multi-year neighborhood visioning and planning initiative and launched in January 2021.
Sub Categories: Design Guidelines
BuildDowntown Master Plan
Over the past decade, Memphis has begun a renaissance, leaning into tech, medical device/innovation, and agribusiness – industries fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit that locally-grown giants FedEx, AutoZone, and St Jude pour into our community. BUILDDOWNTOWN focuses on creating the kind of environment that is attractive to the demographic fueling most knowledge-economy jobs. It seeks to transform Downtown into a robust regional engine of economic opportunity, equity, and culture.
Memphis South City Good Neighbor Grant
The South City Good Neighbor Grant’s purpose is to help property owners and businesses in the South City Neighborhood make exterior improvements to their properties. Improvements to the existing businesses and important places within the South City community significantly impact the pedestrian experience in a neighborhood largely reliant on public transportation and alternate mobility options.
Advancing Places: Zoning Therapy
Creating change in your community can take shape in many forms. We’ll discuss the role of the downtown plan and strategy in counseling communities through change and improvement and how to work through challenges and issues, local politics and differing opinions. Learn about two communities’ approaches to updating their plans, using zoning as the primary tool for implementing a downtown plan.
Advancing Places: Reimagining Downtown Commons
Streets, parking spaces and sidewalks comprise the largest area among types of public space in downtowns across the world. Pre-pandemic, managing parking for delivery bikes and procuring permits for outdoor cafés was challenging. However, reduced traffic presented opportunities to take advantage of these resources in new ways. Join this discussion of management models, programs, and regulatory frameworks that have shifted the use of our public assets to small businesses that need it most.
Advancing Places: Downtown Master Planning
Whether your district has experienced significant growth or is in need of revitalization, a downtown master plan is an important tool in charting a path for intentional development that aligns with community goals. Join us as this experienced panel of urban planning and place management professionals explore the basics of master plans and get actionable insights your team can apply today.
Advancing Places: Winter City Design
The winter of 2020 promises to be a long one, especially for the small businesses forced to operate with reduced customer capacity due to COVID-19. There are choices and recommendations we can make to help business and communities outlast the pandemic – by embracing the idea of the winter city. The economic need is urgent and cannot be understated. We can make our streets, parks and plazas great places to be for all four seasons and create space for our businesses and communities to thrive through the winter months.
Downtown-Adjacent Neighborhoods: Opportunities, Threats and the Current Moment
With the urban renaissance of the last two decades, many downtowns are now bordered by districts that have evolved either into extensions and/or competitors to the traditional core. In this session, panelists will explore the ways in which UPMOs have been addressing this phenomenon through the three ‘lenses’ of retail, connectivity and equity, while also placing it within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and other current events.
Bold Downtown: Public Realm Visioning for 21st Century Business Districts
This session explores opportunities for BIDs to lead public and private stakeholders in developing a vision framework and capital plan to unlock the public realm for a more livable, competitive and dynamic downtown. Panelists will share tactical and permanent strategies to improve pedestrian safety; promote subway and bus use; create greener and more sustainable streets; and celebrate the district’s identity.
Jennifer Vey Master Talk
Jennifer Vey’s work at the Brookings Institution primarily focuses on the connection between placemaking and inclusive economic development in the digital economy. She is the author or co-author of numerous Brookings publications, including Transformative Placemaking: A framework to create connected, vibrant, and inclusive communities and Assessing your Innovation District: A how-to guide.
Bruce Katz Master Talk
Bruce Katz is the Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Previously he served as inaugural Centennial Scholar at Brookings Institution and as VP and director of Brooking’s Metropolitan Policy Program for 20 years. He is a Visiting Professor in Practice at London School of Economics, and previously served as chief of staff to the secretary of Housing and Urban Development and staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: It’s Not Just About Cars Anymore
The advent of smart and shared transportation systems, spanning from automated shuttles to electric scooters, is rapidly changing mobility in our downtowns. From creating loading zones for rideshare pick-ups, finding space for expanded bike share docks, and defining micro-mobility parking zones, to re-purposing travel lanes, designing shared spaces, managing increased shipping + deliveries, and removing parking requirements, downtowns across the country are handling new challenges creatively.
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.
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.
Peering into the Crystal Ball: Adapting to a Changing Climate
Addressing sustainability and resilience is critical to the future of our cities. Urban management districts are uniquely positioned to implement key strategies, from grassroots efforts to more large-scale planning initiatives. Learn how several downtowns across North America are catalyzing and advancing sustainability in their districts.
Optimizing Operational Efficiency and Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Global warming is a real concern and each of us has a responsibility to limit our carbon footprint – especially businesses. Typically, improvement districts use gasoline-powered equipment to augment manual labor cleaning efforts. Panelists will introduce alternative ways to achieve your clean and safe goals, and make a case for alternative options related to equipment that will reduce your carbon footprint and operating costs while improving efficiencies.
Lights, Creative Economy, Action!
Ever wonder what it takes to put on a great event that fundamentally dials up your downtown revival efforts? Hear from practitioners who are executing innovative placemaking strategies that drive economic development and engage the creative economy – both day and night.
Tactical Public Realm Guidelines
|The Tactical Public Realm Guidelines came from the Public Realm Plan for Go Boston 2030. The guidelines cover policy and opportunities for enhancing the streets. A Better City and Utile worked with the City of Boston to develop guidelines for tactical activation. Utile created a document which also includes a guide for implementing outdoor elements. The new standards are aimed at making the process simpler and more transparent, in order to actively invite participation from neighborhood groups, businesses, and others.|
City of the Future: 2018 Gilbert Heritage District Redevelopment plan
The purpose of the 2018 Heritage District Redevelopment Plan is to serve as a visioning document which focuses on attracting uses that will stimulate growth and complement the area’s identity. The plan identifies and prioritizes short, middle, and long-term goals, provides tactics to achieve goals and objectives, provides recommendations for documents such as the Heritage District Design Guidelines, and delivers the very first master plan to guide development of town-owned land in the district.
Molly Alexander Master Talk
Molly Alexander is the Executive Director of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation a new 501(c)(3) organization of the Downtown Austin Alliance. For 30 years Molly’s enjoyed a successful career focused on downtown revitalization and economic development, including enterprises in both the public and private sectors. Molly will be speaking about the global growth of cities, our role as city shapers and place anthropologists.
Jeff Speck Master Talk
Jeff Speck, AICP, CNU-A, LEED-AP, Honorary ASLA is a city planner and urban designer who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he presided over the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design.
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.
Ellen Dunham Jones Master Talk
Ellen Dunham-Jones is a professor of architecture and urban design at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she coordinates the MS/Urban Design degree. An authority on sustainable suburban redevelopment, she is co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia; Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (Wiley: 2009, 2011, 2013). The award-winning book’s documentation of successful retrofits of aging suburban property types into healthier, more sustainable places has received significant attention.
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.”
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.
Finding Solutions to Parking & Access Challenges in Commercial Districts
Parking and access challenges rank as top concerns for BID stakeholders. Many districts lack parking, and also the ability to manage the inventory they do have. Plus, parking requirements can hamper development and leasing. This session will explore strategies to improve the parking experience by engaging with public and private entities. Learn about parking requirements and how different communities are amending them.
The High Cost of Parking Requirements
Donald Shoup, Research Professor at the Department of Urban Planning, University of California, LA, lays out the reasons why cities around the US and abroad are freeing themselves from minimum parking requirements in their urban places. Benefits include; promoting the creation of downtown apartments, meeting the needs of small businesses, prevent auto-oriented townhouses, increase walkability, and more!
It’s A Parking Lot Problem
Parking lots had taken over the landscape of downtown Mobile, AL. One of the top five complaints the Downtown Mobile Alliance heard referenced was the “conditions of the [privately owned] parking lots.” In 2012, the Downtown Mobile Alliance hired DPZ to develop a form-based code for downtown. This would provide architectural guidance for building in the areas of downtown that were not within a historic district.
Downtown Development Framework
The Downtown Development Framework (DDF) is both a vision for downtown Oklahoma City and an innovative set of guidelines The DDF provides specific direction for development, by defining land uses and density and guiding the design of the public and private realms. Application of these development guidelines will help perpetuate downtown as a dense, vibrant, and sustainable core of commerce and culture in Oklahoma City.
Downtown Design Standards Management
In 2001, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. (DFWI) championed the creation of the Downtown Urban Guidelines. In 2016-2017, these guidelines were updated and strengthened by DFWI and City of Fort Worth and codified as the Downtown Urban Design Standards and Guidelines. DFWI led the effort with City staff and members by drafting the guidelines, facilitating discussion and ushering the program through City Council approval.
Rosslyn Streetscape Elements Master Plan
As part of its mission, the Rosslyn Business Improvement Corporation (RBIC) has undertaken a multi-year project to enliven the pedestrian sidewalks of Rosslyn’s commercial core, establish urban identity at the street level and reinforcing the architectural character. Through a toolkit of custom designed streetscape furnishings,” elements”, RBIC is “tying” together the district, block by block, providing a consistent standard between the sidewalk experience and the architecture of buildings.
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.
Colorado Springs ULI/IDA Advisory Panel: Affecting a Downtown Reniassance
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 creating a strategy for a downtown renaissance. The panel highlighted assets to leverage, identified challenges, and identified specific opportunities to execute high-payoff actions to focus time and funding on. The presentation details the panel’s findings and recommendations.
GSA Federal Courthouse / Civic Center Mall Toledo Advisory Panel: Making a Place
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. In this instance the panel was tasked with assessing the “sad, tired, and dismal” Civic Center Mall and determining whether the formation of a place management organization would be beneficial. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations.
The Essential Art of Street Design
The secret to great cities and towns is in their street design. The presentation walks through what makes a well-designed streetscape and points out the do’s and don’ts of their design.
Centro San Antonio Advisory Panel: Activate Houston Street
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 focused on creating a revitalized vision for the Houston Street Corridor. The panel created an outline of strategies and initiatives to revitalize the corridor. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations.
Zoning and Regulations for Retail Vitality
Successful retailers must exhibit creativity to thrive in a rapidly changing retail environment yet, concepts like breweries, retailers that offer educational classes, and small scale artisanal food manufacturers frequently get tripped up with code violations, parking requirements, and special permits that make it hard to compete. This session brings together national experts and practitioners to provide guidance and ensure your codes and regulations align with the new retail reality.