Government Relations

The 2022 U.S. Election: What it Means for Downtowns

The ballots have been counted, and the 2022 U.S elections are over. What do the results mean for downtowns? How do shifts in partisan control affect policies around housing, homelessness, public safety, and other programs? And what opportunities exist for IDA and its members to shape policies that keep our downtowns vibrant? 

Global Cities & COVID

COVID-19 has had a global impact. In the years to come, studies will assess how cities and countries dealt with the pandemic best, and which ones are now poised for future success. Listen to city leaders from Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. 

BID/BIA Evolution in the U.S., UK and Canada

Leading urban thinkers from the U.S., UK and Canada, with input from session participants, will examine how the mission, structures and financing of BIAs and BIDs have evolved over the last five decades and how they need to evolve to address the new needs of cities and stakeholders. 

Mayor Sandra Masters Master Talk

Sandra Masters was sworn in as Regina’s 35th Mayor on November 23, 2020. She made Regina’s history by becoming the first woman elected and defeating a two-time incumbent Mayor during a global pandemic.

CDA’s Legislative Priorities & Advocacy Strategy

This presentation outlines initiatives CDA is leading to address homelessness and mental health, support economic recovery and bring certainty to BIDs during the renewal and formation process. Originally presented at West Coast Urban District Forum in June 2022.

Lessons from an Emergency: Crisis Ops for Social Issues

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.

Effective Service Delivery Across Jurisdictions: The Art of Inter-Governmental Agreements

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.

The Gloves Are Coming Off: We Have To Fight for What We Need

The future of downtowns, urban centers and commercial neighbors, while uncertain, will clearly have to evolve to address the public health endemic, reverse the effects of climate change and create truly just and complete communities. The federal government will play a key role in supporting these efforts, but it requires IDA to be strong advocate in the Capitol. Join us for a discussion of federal-level public policy and the lobby efforts needed to restore the core for our cities.

How BIDs Collaborate with Their Cities

Three different BIDs relate how they work with their cities on both day-to-day and project-based economic development. Learn how each BID has created its own working relationship with key city leadership, and how they work together on everything from business attraction to project formulation.

IDA Member Associations as Public Policy Machines

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.

COVID & Beyond: A Parliamentary Perspective

Please join MP Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure & Community, as he shares sections of the Throne Speech and Budget relevant to helping Canadian businesses and the associations which support them. Mr. Fillmore will also provide details of the proposed $31 million program available to BIAs and SDCs to support public infrastructure, active transportation and digital commerce.

One National Voice: An IDA Canada Roundtable Discussion

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 Master Talk

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.

Top Issues Council: Municipal Partnerships – A Toolkit for Municipal & Urban Place Management Organization Relationships

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.

The Challenges of Unlocking Neighborhood Potential Through Planning Policy

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.

Setting the National Agenda for Cities

Discuss the big-picture policy issues impacting cities, and the role of place management organizations in advocating for thoughtful solutions. Case studies from different countries involved in collective advocacy and organizing will review the national climate in their respective places, and open the floor for a discussion about key policy goals and priorities. This session will be a continuation of conversations from the IDA Ideas Forum and the Canadian National Policy Summit.

Pop-Up! Retail

As cities continue to grapple with storefront vacancies, short-term retail concepts are becoming essential to re-establishing the density of commercial districts and creating new, affordable business opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Find out how cities are supporting pop-up retail and dining by lowering barriers to entry for small businesses through regulatory incentives and comprehensive pop-up retail programs, with examples from California and Tennessee.

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.

Empower Collaborations and Partnership Between Municipalities and BIDs

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

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.

Garment District Rezoning

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.

Une voix nationale: Programme urbain de 2019 (FR)

Une voix nationale: Programme urbain de 2019 vise à créer une voix unie face aux problèmes nationaux qui touchent les centres-villes et les rues principales des villes canadiennes, et identifie cinq problèmes nationaux d’une grande importance pour toutes les BIA et les CDS. Il décrit une plate-forme permettant aux zones commerciales des villes et des agglomérations de devenir plus équilibrées socialement, économiquement dynamiques, dynamiques sur le plan culturel et robustes sur le plan de l’innovation, durables et résilientes sur le plan environnemental.

Kate Joncas Master Talk

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 Master Talk

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 – San Antonio

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.

Leveraging Development to Invest in Infrastructure

Cities aim for a thriving and vibrant downtown – one that attracts residents, companies, workers, tourists, and visitors alike. But what happens when that growth is on a fast track and infrastructure planning has a multi-decade-long runway? In this panel we’ll learn about California’s Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District legislation, how and when to use it, and what it can do to transform a district.

Busting Graffiti Downtown

As part of its clean and safe initiatives, Portland Downtown collaborates with the City of Portland to maintain a vibrant downtown indicative of an economically prosperous business center. While cleaning graffiti from private property is the responsibility of the property owner, a collaborative arrangement between the city, the BID, and a nonprofit service learning organization ensures prompt response to addressing graffiti vandalism.

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 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.

Retail Strategic Plan

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.

Downtown and the Green Rush Economy

Since legalization in 2013, marijuana dispenaries exploded onto the retail scene in Boulder. CEO of the Downtown Boulder Partnership, Sean Maher, walks through the impacts of legalization and shares successful legislation strategies for allowing them to integrate into the market without significant disruption.

Are You Ready for the Mobility (R)Evolution?

In this master talk Jason Schrieber, AICP, Senior Principal at Stantec breaks down what the autonomous vehicle revolution will mean for downtowns and mobility, as well as the opportunities created by the coming mobility revolution.

Navigating Municipal Departments: What to Know Before Quitting Your Job Over Your Municipal Partner

From coast to coast, BIDs and Downtown Associations find themselves having to circumvent the municipal process because it is bureaucratic, arduous or because they always say no. Believe it or not, municipal employees who oversee downtowns face similar challenges. From the panel, learn how they have learned to navigate the municipal process in order to get things done, streamline the process and build relationships that turn no into yes.

Form Follows Finance: Unplugging Economic and Planning Barriers

Data visualizations, economic impact modeling and policy hacks, oh my! This session is a must for anyone interested in the intersection of downtown economic development, placemaking, Smart Growth and regional infrastructure development. Participants will learn about cutting edge applications of geoaccounting, design and ninja policy moves in downtown Durham, NC and Minneapolis, MN.

Community Policing and Partnerships: A Canadian Perspective

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.

Downtown Districts at the Table: Top Safety Topics of 2017

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.