There are many layers of government involved in Downtown and BID management. The more layers, the more complicated it is to deliver efficient and effective public services to your stakeholders. With this challenge comes great opportunity to develop inter-governmental relationships, agreements to facilitate the delivery of services within districts and expansion of services through enhanced cooperation.
Municipal Relationships and Advocacy
Increasingly groups of IDA members are activating or forming local, regional and national associations to advocate for meaningful public policy. Join representatives from the NYC BID Association, California Downtown Association and the IDA Canada Leadership Group to discuss how they set a policy agenda, take positions on behalf of their members and communicate with elected leaders directly or through coalitions.
Three years ago, after great encouragement by six Canadian Board members, IDA generously funded the BIA/BID/BIZ/SDC community of Canada with sufficient funds to create IDA Canada. Its mandate was to draw over 500+ associations together to speak with a clear and united voice to Ottawa about issues and opportunities of importance to BIAs across the country. Please join IDA Canada for a report about progress made and a discussion about the next steps. This will be an open-forum discussion.
Lateefah Simon is a 20-year veteran organizer for racial justice in Oakland and the Bay Area. She has been the President of the Akonadi Foundation since 2016. That same year—driven by the death of Oscar Grant—she ran and was elected to the Bay Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors—of which she now serves as President.
The Municipal Partnerships Top Issues Council examined the fundamental nature of working relationships between UPMOs and governments to identify the best practices for producing the most beneficial and enterprising partnerships. The report is a useful toolkit for understanding the scope and breadth of these relationships, including case studies and sample agreements from organizations around the globe.
City planning tools like zoning and comprehensive planning are powerful forces that can help unleash the potential of neighborhoods, but the process of updating them can be a lengthy and a deeply political endeavor. Hear two case studies of planning policies being modernized to better reflect the current and future needs of neighborhoods.
IDA’s Municipal Partnerships Top Issues Council examined agreements and best practices to identify the factors that enable true partnerships between a municipality and a place management organization. Learn about collaborative approaches BIDs and municipalities have taken to strengthen their relationships. See tools for creating champions, breaking silos and structuring agreements.
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.
|The Garment District Alliance, which represents Midtown Manhattan, recently played a leading role in a plan that culminated in a New York City Council vote in December 2018 to remove a neighborhood zoning overlay, releasing millions of square feet of space from outdated, use-restricting regulations. The Alliance’s budget will be increased by $2.5 million for ten years to fund programming that improves quality of life and economic vitality for all in the area.|
Seattle Mayor Murray named Kate Joncas Deputy Mayor of Operations in June, 2014. Previously, Kate had been the President and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association since 1994. Kate has over 30 years’ experience in downtown revitalization in the private, public and nonprofit sectors in communities around the world. Ms. Joncas is the Past Chair of the International Downtown Association.
Joe Minicozzi is the principal of Urban3, a consulting firm created by Asheville real estate developer Public Interest Projects. Urban3’s work in pioneering geo-spatial representation of economic productivity has prompted a paradigm shift in understanding the economic potency of urbanism and the value of well-designed cities. Their studies for municipalities across the United States and Canada have affected the reevaluation of public policy and a broader understanding of market dynamics.
Tim Tompkins has been the President of the Times Square Alliance since 2002. The Alliance is a business improvement district that works to improve and promote Times Square – cultivating the creativity, energy and edge that have made the area an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life for over a century. Prior to coming to the Alliance, he was the Founder and Director of Partnerships for Parks, which works to support New York City’s neighborhood parks.
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.
In order to begin the deployment of what is now known as N360°, SBS developed a strategic public-private partnership with LISC NYC and Citi Community Development, aided by technical assistance from Larisa Ortiz Associates, to develop an assessment tool and analytical framework — a “Commercial District Needs Assessment” (CDNA) — that would help SBS to engage community partners in evaluating existing conditions and identifying needs of a commercial district.
Innovative disruption in mobility and economic development have created new demands on curb space in dense urban places. Traditional uses like metered parking and valet stands are often in conflict with new uses like food delivery, rideshare, and dockless mobility services. Learn how to quantify and analyze competing curb uses in existence today and gain tools to advocate for the reallocation of curb space to serve new priorities in your community.
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.
The site of the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden (DRPG) was previously a concrete promontory jutting into the wide, busy intersection of Dundas Street and Roncesvalles Avenue. The site was broadly disliked by pedestrians who often dashed, unsafely across the road to get away from blazing heat in the summer or windswept barrens in winter. The Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area (RVBIA) was able to fund the DRPG project through strategic partnerships.
The City of Cambridge is experiencing rapid changes in consumer purchasing habits; in particular the growth in on-line shopping that impacts traditional downtown districts. The city realized that they needed to better understand these macro trends, and needed guidance to enable city staff and leaders, as well and the business community to develop best practice policy prescriptions that could be effectively implemented by the City and embraced by the community.
Urban center organizations are increasingly impacted by social street issues and while they cannot solve such complex social problems, it is vital that BIAs/BRZs/BIDs are involved in the discussions. Forming partnerships with the municipalities, local police, community and social organizations is the foundation to educate and foster understanding around such issues, and to begin to develop strategies and solutions for issues like homelessness and safety.
Every thriving downtown community requires public safety. As downtown centers become re-populated with residents crime has shifted to include dangerous behaviors. Police forces have been thinning and patrols may not be as commonplace. More city centers are destinations for major events, which may also make them targets. How do districts plan for public safety? As a part of IDA’s Top Issues Council, the Safety & Security team explored this topic and more.