Public Safety Initiatives

Clean and Safe has long played a central role in place management, but public safety has taken on increasing importance amidst the protracted return to work, increases in homelessness, and efforts to square law enforcement practices with demands for social justice.

Top Issues Council Brief: Parking & Mobility

This report brief provides updated guidance on, best practices for and resources in mobility and parking including curbside management, mobility hubs, land use and transportation policies, managed and paid parking impacts on businesses, and parking management tools.

Outdoor Dining – Where Do We Go from Here?

Dining moved onto our sidewalks and streets during the pandemic, but will it become a permanent part of our cities? Experienced practitioners will discuss the costs, benefits and considerations of making “streeteries” permanent to help attendees successfully guide local discussions on whether to keep, modify or close outdoor dining establishments. 

Authentic Experiences in the Age of the Metaverse

How do we make places relevant in the age of going virtual? This presentation discusses separate technological folly from authentic experience design to help business districts prepare for the true placemaking success in the age of meta.

Union Square-14th Street District Vision Plan

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.

Advancing Places: Capping & Bridging Expressways

Expressways cut through communities and stand as barriers to connectivity, economic development, equity and neighborhoods in our downtowns. Learn how a partnership between ODOT, Columbus and the community developed and implemented a nationally recognized infrastructure model using freeway caps and enhanced bridges to stitch neighborhoods together and address the critical topics of quality of life, mobility, economics and opportunity.

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: Public Space

This practical and tactical session will address the opportunities and challenges downtowns and commercial districts have in repositioning our public spaces in the post-COVID-19 world. The panelists will address flexible design strategies, safe and healthy operations and working with businesses, public agencies and partners to creatively address new uses and demands for our sidewalks, streets and open spaces.

Project Spotlight: Vibrancy in Your Community

The Golden Triangle BID installed 11 bioretention cells and 10 expanded tree boxes on the sidewalks of one of the neighborhood’s key streets. At over $1 million in construction costs and two full blocks of new green infrastructure, this is the largest capital improvement managed by the BID thus far. By building the new bioretention cells and expanded tree boxes, the BID converted 4,500 of concrete to new green space and added 33 trees and over 400 native plants.

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.

Whose Road is it Anyway? (ATCM)

Space is at a premium. The hospitality sector needs to expand outdoors to be viable due to new capacity constraints, pedestrians need to spread out to physically distance and the car continues to be viewed as a key mode of transport with public transit usage declining this year. How do we manage these conflicting interests? Who gets priority to use our roads?

Carol Coletta Master Talk

Carol Coletta leads the relaunch of Memphis River Parks Partnership, a nonprofit developing, managing and programming six miles of riverfront and five park districts. Previously, she led the two-year start-up of ArtPlace, a unique public-private collaboration to accelerate creative placemaking in communities across the U.S. and was President & CEO of CEOs for Cities for seven years.

19th Street Rain Gardens

The Golden Triangle BID installed 11 bioretention cells and 10 expanded tree boxes on the sidewalks of one of the neighborhood’s key streets. This project is the result of years of planning, partnerships, advocacy, & fundraising. At over $1 million in construction costs and 2 full blocks of new green infrastructure, this is the largest capital improvement managed by the BID thus far.

Bloor Annex Parkettes

This project was initiated to improve the pedestrian experience along the popular Bloor Street and create new beautiful and environmentally conscious public places to sit, rest, and enjoy the outdoors. It involved the transformation of four underused paved right-of-ways into a series of new dynamic green spaces. These parkettes feature trees, pollinator-friendly gardens, wood decking, bike parking, and custom site furnishings.

Downtown Mobility Planning: Connect Downtown

The Greater Des Moines Partnership collaborated with the Iowa Chapter of the Urban Land Institute and the City of Des Moines to seek transportation improvements that could help increase downtown vibrancy. Collectively, the organizations analyzed existing conditions by measuring a multitude of metrics such as traffic counts, bicycle usage, pedestrian traffic, ease of crossing at intersections, sidewalk connectivity, bicycle facilities, connections to trails, lane widths, and number of accidents.

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.

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.

CC2DCA Pedestrian Connection Feasibility Study

The Crystal City BID saw an opportunity to further leverage the DCA airport’s proximity to their downtown by bringing it a few steps closer. A new pedestrian connection could harness the multitude of transportation assets in Crystal City, seamlessly link them into a multimodal hub, and position the neighborhood to attract additional rail services such as Amtrak, regional commuter rail, and even a future high-speed rail station.

Passageways 2.0

Passageways 2.0 transforms a 6,200 square foot alleyway in the core of Downtown Chattanooga. City Thread, a series of simple steel tubes, creates a space that extends our attitude of adventure. By its geometry, the project possesses many potential settings including lounging, mini-stages, framing for art, concerts, markets, movie screenings, and more. The design is intended to allow casual users and those in charge of programming to discover different ways to utilize the alley.

Coxe Avenue Complete Street Demonstration Project

The project was initiated to accelerate mobility improvements to a developing corridor in an Asheville neighborhood. Coxe Avenue formerly contained a high density of automotive uses but is now the site of mixed-use developments and dining options. The project involved a public engagement process, held on a compressed timeline. The design features a shared-use path and an intersection mural. The final installation includes eight new crosswalks, a multi-use path, and the 6,000 sq. ft. mural.

Downtown Tulsa Walkability Study

The team conducted a street-by-street analysis (20 miles total) of existing conditions including lane width, sidewalk width, on-street parking, traffic speeds, pedestrian traffic, and ground floor vacancy to gauge how existing conditions impact the efficiency and economic functionality of downtown. With fieldwork completed, the team engaged with city planning and traffic engineering staff to better understand the thought and efforts going into street reconstruction and striping efforts.

Downtown Orlando’s North Quarter Transportation Vision Study

To better serve area residents and businesses, and accommodate multiple forms of transportation, the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) hired a consultant to assess the feasibility of the two-way restoration. The results this process yielded supported the creation of a complete streets environment with a two-way restoration of Orange and Magnolia Avenues, more on-street parking, additional pedestrian crossings, enhanced landscaping, and completing a gap in a bicycle beltway.

37th Street Streetscape Improvement Project

The Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance came up with several innovative solutions to improve 37th Street between 9th and 10th Avenue in midtown Manhattan so that it is both functional and inviting. The BID added a series of elements to the street, including a mid-block crossing, three neckdowns, protected seating, over 30 planters, two murals and an extra-wide the parking lane, creating a de facto bike lane until an actual bike lane can be installed.

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.

Argyle & Grafton Streetscape Project

In 2015, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and the Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) launched a successful community-based shared street pilot project. The goal was to create a flexible, three block plaza-like environment that prioritizes pedestrians over cars. The final design, done by Ekistics, a local design firm, was curbless to slow traffic, removed on-street parking in favour of pedestrian space, and fostered social interactions through public amenities and art. The use of tactile strips was especially helpful to service animals and those with visual impairments. The Argyle & Grafton Shared Streetscape project was launched in November 2017 with a “Share the Street” party, a full day of family fun with games, six live musical acts, on-street performances, two beer gardens and a showcase for businesses in the area. The integrated approach used in designing this most public of spaces means that Argyle and Grafton Streets will continue to contribute to the urban life of Halifax as a healthy and complete downtown neighbourhood and will continue to revitalize the entertainment district of Downtown Halifax.

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.

Larisa Ortiz Master Talk

Larisa Ortiz is Principal of Larisa Ortiz Associates (LOA), an award‐winning downtown retail advisory firm, and a Mayoral appointee to the New York City Planning Commission. Since founding LOA in 2008, Larisa has developed retail and implementation strategies for over 200 districts worldwide. Larisa is the author of “Improving Tenant Mix: A Guide for Commercial District Practitioners” (ICSC, 2015) and “Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse” (IEDC, 2000).

Increase the Use of Bicycles in Urban Places

The bicycle will play an increasingly important role as cities strive to provide multi-modal options for their ever-growing populations of urban dwellers. This webinar highlights the benefits of increased cycling and its selling points as a transportation alternative to single occupancy vehicles.

Curb Appeal: Tools for Prioritizing Curb Uses

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.

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.

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.

Downtown Topeka Public Space

The Kansas Avenue Project is a collaborative effort to address infrastructure replacement and topside enhancements responsive to improving the quality of place and encourage reinvestment and business activity in downtown Topeka. Public and private partnership raised $3.8 millon toward the creation of pocket parks, pavilions, fountains, arches, medallions, statues and state symbols that add to the beauty and appeal of downtown Topeka.

Connect Downtown

Connect Downtown is an initiative led by the City of Des Moines, Urban Land Institute Iowa and the Greater Des Moines Partnership to investigate opportunities to make getting around downtown Des Moines safer, more comfortable and more convenient. The Connect Downtown project began with a survey of existing conditions in downtown including: traffic counts, bicycle usage, pedestrian traffic, ease of crossing at intersections, sidewalk widths, sidewalk connectivity, bicycle facilities, and more.

Northeast False Creek Plan

The Northeast False Creek Plan is an innovative and comprehensive plan to replace the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts (2.6 km of elevated freeway infrastructure) with a new mixed-use waterfront community. As a result of intensive collaboration between the landowners, senior levels of government and the community over an 18-month planning process, a 20-year plan for the buildout of Northeast False Creek was adopted by Vancouver City Council on February 13, 2018.

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.