Placemaking

Reclaiming Our Public Spaces, Post Pandemic

This session examines how cities are reclaiming public spaces after two years with little to no programming and activation. Learn from seasoned professionals’ experiences and creative approaches to breathing new life into the public realm as cities look to reengage with their residents and visitors and recover economically.

A Tale of Three Cities Fueling Recovery

This presentation focused on three cities (San Francisco, Berkeley, and Los Angeles) and how they identified challenges the pandemic presented to their downtowns and strategies being implemented to fuel the recovery. Challenges include the increase of homelessness and violence related to the civil unrest; lack of pedestrian traffic and downtown workers; and the role safety, security and cleaning played during the pandemic. Learn what strategies were implemented and positive outcomes achieved. 

Advancing Places: Public Safety Roundtable 

Public safety has always been at the forefront of the work of UPMOs. The reality and perception of crime in dense urban districts continue to impact the return of workers and vibrancy in the urban core. IDA is inventorying best practices and trends and will publish findings from this discussion and other data collection. Participants will be split into breakout rooms to maximize discussion time. Please note: the breakout rooms of this discussion were not recorded. 

We Aren’t Placemaking, We Are People Making

We have an opportunity to use experience, a pandemic and data to inform how we cultivate our greatest assets, our people. Before we can “reopen” our districts (as if they were ever closed), we must address the anxieties, fears, languishing, burnout and uncertainties of the past year. If we don’t, then we are asking people to walk out of a burning building, shake it off and build a new building. We can do better.

Reimagining Outdoor Dining and Public Space

Discover how a downtown pedlet program in Montana and streeteries in Maryland promoted local placemaking efforts, created public spaces, and spurred an outside dining movement that increased business revenue, supported local business, and created jobs. Attendees will gain the knowledge of how to establish these programs in their communities, learn of the wider economic impact in a downtown commercial district and how these can be viable tools in the post-pandemic recovery process.

Providing Value to Stakeholders through Curated Experiences

Dive into what makes a memorable experience and ways to drive value for local businesses through a curated passport platform. From identifying your assets to thinking about all aspects of your downtown experience, level up your programming with these unique tips. Learn how Tampa has driven measurable spending and supported local economic growth through their downtown passport program.

The Transformational Power of Public Art

Marc Chagall said, “Great art picks up where nature ends.” Public art in cities transforms public spaces, connects people and revitalizes communities. Hear from three cities utilizing the power of public art in ambitious ways, inspiring long-term positive change. Any community on any budget can benefit from the strategic targeted implementation of public art.

Public Art Murals Achieved by Public & Private Partnerships

The session will focus on public art murals in our downtowns with an emphasis on public and private partnerships to help finance the murals. Included will be simple instructions on how BIDs can manage the process for mural installation with an emphasis on regional artists to complete the murals and gaining access to funding and the walls in your community.

Adapting Public Realm Innovations to Post-Pandemic Downtowns

How can mixed-use downtowns build on learnings from COVID-19 to enhance the public realm and boost commercial vibrancy? This session explores opportunities for BIDs to adapt pilot projects developed in the last year (shared/pedestrian priority streets, temporary plazas and outdoor dining) into long-term initiatives to increase foot traffic, retail activation and entice office tenants to return to the workplace.

Advancing Places: Placemaking and Activations

What is placemaking? Why do we activate spaces in our districts?  Join this panel discussion and learn from three practitioners whose focus is placemaking and activations.  Learn how they manage their time, create workplans, measure ROI and develop relationships with internal staff, city partners, businesses, and residents.  We want to take this opportunity for you to participate and we encourage attendees to bring questions and share best practices with the audience. 

Street Show Artists Unite for Justice

Street Show Artists Unite for Justice was a virtual expansion of our street performance program that produced live streaming shows from our regular slate of street performers, as well as specially recorded and edited “Street Show Gems” that were taped at quintessential locations throughout downtown Minneapolis. Following George Floyd’s killing, all artist payments were matched by Mpls DID contributions to social justice organizations selected by the participating artists.

Bethesda Streetery

Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) unveiled the “Bethesda Streetery” in June 2020 as an economic recovery response during the COVID-19 pandemic. The open-air eatery featured an outdoor seating design with tables and chairs placed on closed streets in downtown Bethesda, MD. Streetery attendees were invited to “Picnic on the Avenue” after picking up food and beverages from any local Bethesda restaurant.

World of Winter

The World of Winter Festival is a two-month long festival that takes advantage of Michigan’s cold climate to provide interesting ways for people to experience and enjoy the season. This Festival aspires to make Grand Rapids a more active winter city, making Grand Rapids an active year-round city by hosting all activities outdoors in public spaces. All programming and activities are FREE, socially distanced for these pandemic times and geared for both families and adults.

Black Lives Matter Mural Project

The Black Lives Matter Mural Project in the summer of 2020 enlivened and supported DowntownDC at a pivotal time for the community. This project beautified public space in the Gallery Place-Chinatown neighborhood with 35 outdoor murals, shifting boarded-up storefronts (due to inactivity because of COVID-19 and compounded by unrest and uncertainty related to social justice protests) into inviting, vibrant and hopeful spaces.

Brighten the Passage

Brighten the Passage is a public space and infrastructure improvement project aimed at consciously rebuilding physical and sociological connections between downtown Milwaukee’s central business district and the Historic Third Ward neighborhoods – connections that have been severed for decades by the elevated freeway. The project enhancements are practical and impactful tactics that included large-scale murals on the freeway support piers and dynamic, programmable color changing LED lighting.

Dining on the Spot

The Dining on the Spot program, which provided expanded outdoor dining options when indoor seating was closed early March and April, was directly responsible for keeping Downtown West Palm Beach restaurants in business. In addition to creating a mechanism to continue serving customers, the DDA also provided funding for equipment rental and a branded signage program for restaurants participating in Dining on the Spot.

Project Hope, Unity and Compassion

Throughout history, downtowns and town squares have served as the foundation of society’s freedom of expression and the center of community discourse. Downtown Tulsa is certainly no different. At an incredibly tense time in our community, and in the midst of planning for unprecedented events, we found an opportunity to showcase Downtown Tulsa’s core values on temporary canvases.

Shadows at Sixth

“Shadows at Sixth: An Elevated Halloween Drive Thru” is unlike any event seen in Little Rock before. Held in a multi-level parking deck in downtown Little Rock, this drive-thru, family-friendly event was created to bring joy and fun safely to Central Arkansans in a time of uncertainty and isolation.

SODO Track

The SODO Track is transforming the portal to Downtown Seattle—a two mile transit corridor lined by industrial building backs—into an imaginative raceway of art in motion for over 50,000 people to experience daily. What was once an industrial zone is now a world-class art destination and a fitting welcome to the international city Seattle has become.

VMF Winter Arts

VMF Winter Arts is a free, augmented reality experience transforming public space across Vancouver’s downtown core into a free, interactive, open-air gallery. Winter Arts showcases the talented work of 26 artists and animates over 20 downtown public spaces in a completely new way. Blurring the line between the virtual and physical worlds, VMF Winter Arts highlights the convergence of art and technology to safely engage and connect art and people in public spaces over three weeks.

Messages for the City

Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Times Square Arts presented Messages for the City in partnership with Poster House, PRINT Magazine, and For Freedoms. First debuted on April 17, 2020, this Times Square and citywide public art campaign featured artist-designed PSAs and messages of love, gratitude, and solidarity with New York City’s health care and essential workers.

O2: Outdoor Office

Rosslyn, Virginia is a community of over 25,000 employees and 15,000 residents who work or live in the buildings that make up Arlington’s iconic skyline along the Potomac River. Dozens of large, top-tier companies like Nestle, Microsoft, Deloitte and Gartner call Rosslyn home, so when the pandemic hit, the Rosslyn BID quickly began re-envisioning the future of work in Rosslyn, not only for employees, but the Rosslyn residents that were now working from home.

Portland Downtown Tree Cam

In lieu of our traditional, “one night only” tree lighting event, Portland Downtown, Hood® Eggnog, and Portland Public Library launched something all new for 2020: a 24/7 live-streaming “tree cam” overlooking an iconic downtown park called Monument Square. The cam created a virtual window so that visitors locally – and across the globe – could enjoy the illuminated tree & its surroundings anytime, anywhere throughout the holiday season.

al Fresco off Main and Downtown Dash

The City of Mesa and the Downtown Mesa Association (DMA), introduced a great way to “extend” patio dining for all of the restaurants in the downtown Mesa District—no matter the restaurant’s outside capacity. al Fresco off Main is a fenced off area with plenty of outdoor, distanced seating where people can bring food they ordered from any downtown Mesa restaurant or their brown bag meal to enjoy their refreshments in the middle of downtown.

The Care Campaign

The Care Campaign is a collection of 14 murals that popped up in our Downtown Dartmouth business district in fall 2020. We worked with a member business to create a placemaking project that would encourage people to feel embraced and connected, at least in mind and spirit, while circumstances beyond anyone’s control make that physically impossible. We received feedback from people of all walks of life that the Care Campaign murals have brought them feelings of happiness and inspiration.

Delightful Doorways Mural Program

The Delightful Doorways Mural Project (DDMP) is a public art placemaking program in Downtown Berkeley whose mission is to transform dark and unsafe street level fire exits and industrial doorways located throughout the district into unique colorful works of art by local artists.

Advancing Places: Pinnacle Award Spotlight

Winning an IDA Pinnacle Award is the highest level of recognition for urban place management professionals. We’ll walk through two programs pulling communities through the COVID-19 pandemic: the planning of a gift card program benefiting local businesses and a public space activation offering an outdoor office for flexibility in work and wellness. This webinar highlights The Cincy Card Connection and O2: Outdoor Office in Rosslyn, VA.

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: Art as a Tool for Healing

The past year and a half has been filled with extraordinary challenges brought on by a global pandemic. Join this session and learn from two 2021 Pinnacle Award Winning projects on how BIDs can participate in social, cultural and political moments by bringing in the arts community. This pandemic has changed the relationship between people and public space, and new partnerships have developed over time.

Advancing Places: Winter City Design

The winter of 2020 promises to be a long one, especially for the small businesses forced to operate with reduced customer capacity due to COVID-19. There are choices and recommendations we can make to help business and communities outlast the pandemic – by embracing the idea of the winter city. The economic need is urgent and cannot be understated. We can make our streets, parks and plazas great places to be for all four seasons and create space for our businesses and communities to thrive through the winter months.

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.

Advancing Places: Graffiti and Murals

Unwelcome graffiti can significantly affect the perceptions of cleanliness and safety in a district. Questions surrounding who is physically responsible and economically liable for removal can cause confusion among urban place leaders, business owners and local government officials. This session will explore how three graffiti removal programs were established and maintained to positively impact their district.

Radical Welcoming: Staffing Public Spaces for All

In the face of increases in economic segregation, social isolation and distrust across the U.S., downtown leaders in Akron and Memphis see public space as a solution. Learn how practitioners in these two cities are pioneering new ways to staff and operate networks of civic assets that are truly welcoming to people of all backgrounds and cultivate civic trust.

How Investments in Arts Vibrancy Drive Economic Vibrancy

How can the arts act as a catalyst for economic development? What are the factors that drive a vibrant arts sector? This session will explore how arts vibrancy evaluations can steer investments in economic development to improve lives and the economy. Join speakers as they discuss the economic contributions of the arts in diverse communities and study cases of the arts driving business development.

Place Leadership Network: A Brave Experiment in Equitable Place Management

In 2019, eight place-management groups in the Boston area —from BIDs to main streets to conservancies— began a year-long journey of leadership development, capacity building and learning from one another. In a region grappling with environmental resilience and social inequity, this cohort of place managers is working together to make and keep public places vibrant, creative and inclusive.

Placemaking & Events Roundtable

Has the pandemic paused your district’s placemaking and public events or have you been able to adjust to the new realities of physical-distancing and face-coverings? This roundtable conversation will focus on sharing new ideas and necessary innovations for pandemic-era placemaking and public events.

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.

Downtown Activation and Public Art Initiative (DAPA)

The Downtown Activation and Public Art Initiative (DAPA) was created in 2012 to enliven Downtown Pittsburgh through a diverse and engaging use of public art, creative placemaking, and entrepreneurship. The initial goals of DAPA were to: Create thoughtful and innovative programming; Engage a diverse group of stakeholders; Develop event funding strategies; Include opportunities for local businesses to engage.

Writing on the Walls

Writing on the Walls is an annual series of collaborative public art installations and events. At the inaugural event in March 2020, local, national and international artists simultaneously created two new landmarks in downtown Austin, including our city’s largest mural to date. This mural is located on the iconic Congress Avenue, 11 blocks south of the state capitol, and located at the gateway into downtown Austin.