Research

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.

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.

Mayor Jane Castor Master Talk

Mayor Castor’s key achievements within the past two years include helping secure more than $90 million for transportation and mobility improvements, hiring the City’s first Sustainability and Resilience Officer, and launching various strategic initiatives to support prosperous and equitable job growth, economic developments, and housing opportunities.

Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) Recovery Compass

The DTLA Recovery Compass was a multi-wave tracking study, surveying downtown stakeholders on a range of issues, trends, and sentiments about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on Downtown Los Angeles. A total of eight survey waves, each with 200-300 responses, were collected throughout 2020. The survey was promoted via the DCBID email distribution list and paid, targeted advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

Advancing Places: Developing, Reporting and Communicating Annual Progress

Communicating the progress occurring in your district annually can come in many forms. Join this session and learn from three UPMO leaders who are gathering data and creating a benchmark for tracking development, investment, housing, and other areas of importance. These reports are used to better understand the current state of their downtowns and to help determine priorities and action steps. Learn how sharing the results can elevate your credibility and attract new investment.

Advancing Places: Capital Market Insights, Real Estate and Economic Forecast

The pandemic-induced work-from-home experiment has altered perspectives on work, flexibility and the office. When COVID-19 is no longer a lingering health concern, workers will not be expected to come into the office for tasks that can be done from anywhere. What purpose does the office serve in the future and how will that purpose impact the way occupiers think about their portfolio footprints, location strategy and office layouts?

Advancing Places: Economic Development Foundations

Successful economic development approaches can sustain a healthy, diverse and prosperous district economy. This session will explore major trends in economic development and see which approaches local leaders and officials are utilizing in their organizations. Panelists will explore the various stages of the economic development process and explore the myriad of practices associated with successful district economies. Regardless of your experience, walk away with an updated toolbox of financing tools and economic programs to strengthen your district through development agreements, tax credit programs, revolving loan programs and redevelopment initiatives.

Advancing Places: Consumer Insights for Planning & Policy

Knowing the opinions and priorities of your residents and stakeholders on reopening your district will be critically important for the recovery of urban districts. This past summer, IDA partnered with RRC Associates, a national leader in market research, to develop a consumer survey tool for member districts. The research focused on how residents and customers felt about policies on reopening, safety protocols and their comfort level returning to downtown businesses and gathering places. Join us to hear panelists’ insights into what districts, cities and businesses can do to increase confidence and sales from visitors, along with learning how to sign up to be part of the fall round of research.

IDA Vitality Index 2020 Downtown Trends

The IDA Vitality Index, powered by Stantec, has now grown to more than 50 downtowns across the U.S., including downtowns in the 25 largest cities. This session will introduce the latest trends in downtown economy, inclusion and vibrancy and feature a panel discussion highlighting what was expected and what was most surprising.

Authority in Data: Building out your Research Program

Learn how to build out your research program beginning with the basic State of Downtown to more advanced reports such as a Development Activity Report and COVID response report. With a strong research program, UPMOs will become the go-to expert in their downtown. This expert status with help shape your brand and serve your members. Come away with a realistic plan to build a robust research program given budget, staff and time constraints.

COVID Spending Insights from Mastercard (FKA Mastercard SpendingPulse™)

Mastercard SpendingPulse™ has become a leading economic and industry research service to monitor and forecast consumer spending across multiple industries and markets. Reports use advanced models to calculate total and sector-level retail sales based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, survey-based estimates for other payment types (including cash), and tune for macroeconomic factors.

Jennifer Vey Master Talk

Jennifer Vey’s work at the Brookings Institution primarily focuses on the connection between placemaking and inclusive economic development in the digital economy. She is the author or co-author of numerous Brookings publications, including Transformative Placemaking: A framework to create connected, vibrant, and inclusive communities and Assessing your Innovation District: A how-to guide.

Project Downtown: Celebrating 10 Years of Implementation

The Master Plan for Wichita is a 15-year community vision and blueprint for development in downtown Wichita, KS. The plan was adopted in December 2010 and has served as the community’s north arrow since then. The plan was founded on market economics with industry experts providing sound economic forecast information for commercial and residential development. Since then, the market potential in each of the real estate sectors has been frequently updated for accuracy.

Downtown St. Pete Development Guide

Not only a economic benchmark report, this documents delves into topics such as the adjacent residential neighborhoods and education. It was designed to memorialize our progress as an urban center and provide a road map to our community leaders for thoughtful growth into the future. Through our research in this project, we were able to forecast public and private investments approaching $8 billion will be spent in our city center.

Downtown 2.0, Livingston County Commercial District Assessment

The Downtown 2.0 Commercial District Assessment, a comprehensive plan for the County and its nine downtowns, identified shared downtown challenges and established a set of clear strategies and tactics for the County to collectively address business attraction and sales growth, capital investment, and redevelopment.

A New Future for I-35: Urban Land Institute Panel

The project, undertaken by the Downtown Austin Alliance, builds on the Texas Department of Transportation’s plans to reconstruct Interstate 35 through the downtown core. I-35 is an immense highway with a deep, complicated history; a structural barrier that has caused division in our community for decades. Our project aims to enhance TxDOT investment, making the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity by creating a shared community vision that will improve quality of life.

The State of Cape Town Central City Report 2018: A Year in Review

The Report is intended to provide an accurate and comprehensive overview of the downtown economy, to encourage local, national and global investment in downtown Cape Town. The Report’s unique approach is that it not only gives a detailed breakdown (in numbers) of the main economies of the Cape Town Central Business District (CBD), as it is a year in review, it also identifies key themes that emerged and how the city and Big Business responded to them.

Then and Now: An Analysis of Downtown Retail – Parts 1 & 2

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association’s (DVBIA) two-part series, “Then and Now: An Analysis of Downtown Retail”, quantifies and benchmarks retail in the DVBIA’s 90-block catchment between 2012 and 2018. Part 1 examines non-edible goods and services, while Part 2 examines the food and beverage sector. The reports identify retail mix, average annual growth rates, business openings and closings and the percentage of businesses operating for 10 years or more.

P.U.M.A.’s Global Trends Report: Pandemic July 2020 Update

In late 2019, P.U.M.A. and IDA jointly released the 2020 Global Trends Report highlighting opportunities arising from converging shifts in demographics, lifestyles and a new category, “disruptive forces,” that are shaping our cities. Little did we know that months later we’d be in the midst of the disruptive events of our lifetimes – the pandemic that has wreaked havoc on public health and economies, and the American protests for racial justice that could accelerate dramatic social change.

Downtown Long Beach Economic Profile Press Release

This 2015 sample press release from Downtown Long Beach Associates is spreading the word about their recently published Downtown Economic Profile. The press release highlights a number of statistics from the report, summarizes the report’s introductory letter, and provides a brief description of the organization.

Developing a Retail Strategy

All downtowns are dealing with the changing world of retail and developing strategies for retention and attraction. Learn from Cherry Creek North, Downtown Memphis and Downtown OKC, three very distinct downtowns, as they discuss their respective approaches for filling vacant spaces and retaining and attracting retailers.   

Inclusive Place-Based Economic Development

In 2015, Charlotte’s downtown association, Charlotte Center City Partners, was invited by neighborhood advocates to catalyze a multi-year partnership effort to transform the Historic West End of Charlotte corridor. However, in West End, long-tenured residents and businesses threatened by rising property values feel this pressure acutely as they face predatory investors and find very limited affordable housing options for those who wish to move but stay in the neighborhood.

Smart City Frontier

Cities across the world are becoming “smarter,” integrating technologies that communicate via the Internet of Things (IoT).  What’s on the horizon?  And, what is a district’s role in a burgeoning network of kiosks, cameras, trash compactors, scooters, automated vehicles and more?

Developing a Retail Strategy

All downtowns are dealing with the changing world of retail and developing strategies for retention and attraction. Learn from Cherry Creek North, Downtown Memphis and Downtown OKC, three very distinct downtowns, as they discuss their respective approaches for filling vacant spaces and retaining and attracting retailers.   

College Town Summit 2019 Master Talk Slides

Slides from the master talks sessions featuring Downtown Durham Inc.’s Nichole Thompson, David Dixon from Stantec, and Justine Hollingshead, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor / Packapalooza Planning Team Co-Chair, NC State University Division of Academic and Student Affairs.

Vitality Defined

This session will present the first iteration of the IDA Vitality Index, powered by Stantec. The Index will be an interactive, online tool to benchmark the vitality of downtowns across the U.S. It includes select indicators of economy, inclusion and vibrancy to enable urban place managers to objectively quantify and benchmark their district’s strengths and weaknesses against peer cities. During the session, panelists will share the Index and discuss how districts can use this data.

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.

Craft Data-Informed Persona in Places of All Sizes

Downtown associations know their attraction and retention results are due in part to their marketing efforts. But how do you produce content that helps your downtown stand out from the rest? In this panel, downtown regions like Bozeman, MT; Los Angeles, CA; and Memphis, TN will discuss how marketing their narrative started with understanding the unique pieces of their story – namely, their data.

Making the Case: Market Analysis Scenario Workshop

Today, downtown and urban district professionals need clear and concise data to strategically inform management and investment decisions. This workshop begins with a baseline understanding of the data that can be useful for understanding the local market, including how to retrieve the data and how to supplement the data with local knowledge. Structured as a practicum, participants will then work in small groups to apply the methodologies and analyses to build a comprehensive district profile.

Global Trends 2020: What’s Next for Downtown

P.U.M.A.’s award-winning Global Trends Report has been a go-to resource for downtowns for more than a decade. This debut of the 2020 edition will provide insight on what’s next for downtowns given shifts in demographics, lifestyles and competition. The panel will also provide provocative recommendations on how downtown managers can adapt to and get ahead of trends shaping our cities.

NYC BID Trends Report – Telling the Story of NYC BIDs

The annual NYC BID Trends Report targets multiple audiences, serving both a promotional and educational role for the public and NYC BIDs themselves. SBS collects, analyzes, and features program output data, budget information, and highlights of exceptional programming in this report each year. The report highlights the overall impact and financial data for all BIDs and expense and output data organized by comparable BID cohorts. The report also provides financial and output data from individual BIDs.

Kate Joncas Master Talk – Baltimore 2019

Kate is currently the Director of Urban Strategy and Development for MIG. She leads strategic efforts for complex urban projects in downtowns, neighborhoods and urbanizing places. As Seattle Deputy Mayor from 2014 – 2017 she directed 32 departments, led waterfront redevelopment and Convention Center expansion, and developed a nationally recognized government performance initiative.

Annie Milli Master Talk

Annie Milli is the Executive Director of Live Baltimore, a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) Residential Marketing Organization. A self-described “accidental urbanist,” Ms. Milli began her career as a graphic designer, later becoming an art director and executive in the field of commercial advertising. Ms. Milli led Live Baltimore’s marketing division from 2013 to 2017, during which time she developed a resident retention initiative, targeting city families.

The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities: Third Edition

A strong downtown is critical for a successful city and region. This groundbreaking study articulates the inherent value a downtown provides to the greater city, highlighting a downtown’s unique and impactful contributions while accounting for 100+ key data points based on economy, inclusion, vibrancy, identity, and resilience. With three years of data, IDA grouped each of the center cities into one of three downtown tiers: Emerging, Growing and Established. 

John Bela Master Talk

John Bela is an urbanist and public space designer with Gehl Studio San Francisco. He combines a background in art, science and environmental design to create vibrant, dynamic and resilient urban human habitats. A pioneer in user-generated urbanism, John has successfully completed many projects that involve radical new formulations of social space. John is a senior lecturer at the California College of Arts in San Francisco and a distinguished lecturer at U.C. Berkeley.

Gabe Metcalf Master Talk

Gabriel Metcalf is the President & CEO of SPUR. Under his leadership, SPUR has grown dramatically in influence and membership. Before becoming head of SPUR 2005, Gabe headed up SPUR’s policy and advocacy work for five years. A prolific writer and speaker, Gabriel earned his Master’s degree in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.

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.