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.
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.
Drawing on case studies from across North America, the IDA Top Issues Council on “Diverse Retail Mix” will be exploring different meanings of retail diversity and for each meaning, arguing on behalf of its importance, analyzing with which goals or stakeholders it conflicts and how true “crossover” might be achieved, and finally, what specific roles a Downtown organization should play in its promotion and preservation.