Over the past 20 years, Leon I. Walker, Esq., has spearheaded cutting-edge community development projects that have generated thousands of new jobs and brought grocery stores and health care services into the food and health care deserts on Chicago’s south side.
Equity and Housing
National Landing BID’s DEI-focused plan sets forth a roadmap of actionable goals for the BID, its businesses and the greater National Landing community to work together to build a more inclusive community. Working with these stakeholders and businesses, the BID will seek to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of business operations.
In December 2021, San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a 90-day state of emergency for the overdose crisis in downtown. Together with place management organizations, city departments commanded by the Department of Emergency Management developed a disaster relief framework for long-term operations to address the most intractable issues at the intersection of crime, homelessness, mental health and substance use disorder.
We often inherit a complicated relationship with the neighborhoods adjacent to the traditional downtown core. Those adjacent neighborhoods are sometimes very different in history and composition – the buildings are likely older, the land is less developed, and the community less affluent. The neighborhoods may be separated from downtown by historic and political barriers, including racist and exclusionary policies and years of broken economic development promises.
Every community needs housing options that meet a diversity of incomes and lifestyles. Downtowns, city centers and neighborhood districts throughout North America are working to make attainable housing a reality for people seeking an urban lifestyle. Urban place management organizations of all sizes and resource levels can play a role in encouraging more housing at a variety of price points and of varying styles.
Homelessness is, at its core, a human challenge, and as urban place managers we can act as conveners to collaborate and coordinate with service providers, public agencies and local organizations to ensure empathetic and successful programs. Join two panelists as they discuss their passion for addressing homelessness in their local district and how they approached the difficulties and successes when working to balance their unique situation.
The affordable housing crisis is forcing downtown workers to live farther and farther away, reducing our competitiveness as a jobs center. Downtown organizations are in a unique position —due to our skills, partners, constituencies and clout— to take a leadership role in creating workforce housing. Come hear creative examples that you could implement in your community.
With deep experience in both public and private sectors, Maurice A. Jones became LISC’s fourth President & CEO in 2016. He previously served as the secretary of commerce for the Commonwealth of Virginia, deputy secretary for HUD, commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Social Services, deputy chief of staff to former Virginia Governor Mark Warner and, during the Clinton administration, director of the CDFI Fund.
A containerized community clinic providing accessible, affordable primary health care to commuters in a busy, inner-city downtown area. In South Africa, only 17 in 100 people have access to quality private health care. This leaves around 45 million people relying on the public health system. Most of this group are low-income earners, living in high-density growing urban areas, who cannot afford to pay high prices for health care.
In late 2019, P.U.M.A. and IDA jointly released the 2020 Global Trends Report highlighting opportunities arising from converging shifts in demographics, lifestyles and a new category, “disruptive forces,” that are shaping our cities. Little did we know that months later we’d be in the midst of the disruptive events of our lifetimes – the pandemic that has wreaked havoc on public health and economies, and the American protests for racial justice that could accelerate dramatic social change.
Every community needs housing options that meet a diversity of incomes and lifestyles. The Housing Attainability Top Issues Council report demonstrates how urban place management organizations of all sizes and resource levels can play a role in encouraging more housing at a variety of price points and of varying styles.
Millennial demographics, internet-fueled lifestyles, and a sharing economy (rides, workplace) alter land use and tax generation priorities for cities. Retail is no longer just about retail, with “place,” authenticity, and “trips,” becoming the defining components of a successful town center. Concurrently, the state is driving cities to change land use processes based on climate control and affordable housing mandates, while providing development incentives through new incentives and districts.
Downtowns are transforming into more people-centered places by actively prioritizing transit, biking, and walking: the key to moving more people in the same street space. Not only does this require a different approach to planning and street design, but also requires a paradigm shift in thinking. In previously auto-centric cities, changing the status quo takes significant political will and intentional effort. In this session, hear cities’ strategies for making the case for sustainable mobility.
In recent years, housing costs in Portland have been rising as the city becomes increasingly attractive within the State of Maine and as compared to other regions nationally. There has been little development of new housing affordable to current Portland residents and very little construction of new housing at all between 2007 and 2014. To address the issues of housing availability and affordability the City of Portland adopted a host of strategic policies and initiatives.
In 2015, Charlotte’s downtown association, Charlotte Center City Partners, was invited by neighborhood advocates to catalyze a multi-year partnership effort to transform the Historic West End of Charlotte corridor. However, in West End, long-tenured residents and businesses threatened by rising property values feel this pressure acutely as they face predatory investors and find very limited affordable housing options for those who wish to move but stay in the neighborhood.
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
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.
Inclusive city building is a core value we all share and yet the path forward is not completely clear. Whether we are thinking in terms of our districts or of the place management profession, the strategies and tools for reaching our own expectations for diversity and equity are unwritten. The conversation begins in Baltimore and you are invited to participate in a round table discussion exploring ways to best move ahead and take a leadership role so everyone can see a place where they belong.
The Lower Polk Tenant Landlord Clinic is an innovative homelessness prevention program serving the historic Lower Polk district of San Francisco, CA. The clinic’s primary mission is to help vulnerable residents save their homes by avoiding eviction. Known affectionately as “TLC,” the program brings together a coalition of experts in myriad disciplines to address the diverse needs of the target at-risk populations. In its first year of operation, TLC helped 87 people save their homes.
As part of its efforts to address homelessness, Downton San Diego Partnership has implemented the Family Reunification Program, a program designed to reconnect homeless individuals with their families and loved ones across the country, enabling them to build much-needed support systems that are critical to ending the cycle of homelessness.
The Community Redevelopment Agency’s (CRA) Parramore Housing Infill Program is specifically designed to increase homeownership in areas which have characteristically been difficult to develop due to aging housing stock, widespread non-conforming lots sizes, and antiquated infrastructure. Each home incorporates green building components and quality context-specific design, meeting the specific needs of Parramore residents.
Kate is currently the Director of Urban Strategy and Development for MIG. She leads strategic efforts for complex urban projects in downtowns, neighborhoods and urbanizing places. As Seattle Deputy Mayor from 2014 – 2017 she directed 32 departments, led waterfront redevelopment and Convention Center expansion, and developed a nationally recognized government performance initiative.
Albus Brooks is the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Milender White, a development and construction firm operating in Southern California and Colorado. Serving two terms on Denver City Council, including two terms as Council President, Albus accomplished an ambitious range of progressive legislative victories with the goal of building a truly inclusive city.
Andrea Batista Schlesinger leads the Inclusive Cities practice at HR&A Advisors. As a former leader in government, think tanks, philanthropy, and politics, Andrea uniquely understands the capacity and role of government, advocacy, and philanthropy in making cities just and dynamic places. Her current work focuses on supporting equitable economic development and removing barriers to opportunity for all communities in cities.
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.
Gabriel Metcalf is the President & CEO of SPUR. Under his leadership, SPUR has grown dramatically in influence and membership. Before becoming head of SPUR 2005, Gabe headed up SPUR’s policy and advocacy work for five years. A prolific writer and speaker, Gabriel earned his Master’s degree in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.
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.
This “how-to” session explores strategies and tactics that have worked in cities like Reno, NV and San Francisco, CA. Learn how one downtown designed their ambassador services to effectively deal with homelessness, and discover and effective model to communicate and work with multiple city departments and community benefit districts that was developed by one city’s Police Department.
A good day’s work can be the pivotal first step toward stability and shelter for someone struggling with homelessness. That’s why in 2016, the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) and local philanthropic / government organizations partnered to establish Jobs Connect. Jobs Connect is a simple, innovative program that matches homeless and vulnerable people with work and basic support services.
South Africa’s particular socio-economic context forces many people to leave their homes to seek employment in city centres. However, the majority often cannot find work, and without enough shelter beds available, they are consequently left homeless. City systems lack sufficient infrastructure and resources to help those who need it. In response, VRCID developed a new coherent, collaborative approach that could address the complex challenge through an interconnected ecosystem of all players working to combat homelessness.
Despite a remarkable urban revival over the past few decades, wealth and income disparities have widened inexorably in city centers, including both within and between metropolitan regions. Some place managers are asking themselves if their work has unintentionally fostered increasingly homogenized and exclusive urban districts. This report explores the challenges and opportunities in prioritizing inclusion and equity in the urban place management field.
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 workforce housing demand and social equity, as well as physical connections in central city and oppertunities for collaboration on housing issues among various community development organizations. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations.
Throughout 2018, the Inclusive Places Council explored the role of place management organizations in navigating challenges around social equity and inclusion in rapidly transforming cities. In this workshop the Inclusive Places Council will share toolkits and best practices around creating more inclusive public realm and organizations.
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.