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.

Top Issues Council Brief: Evolving Homeless Services

This report explains the importance of supporting homeless services to increase individual and public health and safety. It also offers examples and resources to help place managers launch or enhance homeless services in their communities. 

Top Issues Council Brief: Inclusive Entrepreneurship

This report explores successful methods UPMOs have used to support inclusive entrepreneurship by improving capital readiness, easing access to commercial spaces, and developing programs for business retention and sustainability.

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.

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.

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.

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.

One National Voice: An Urban Agenda 2019 (EN)

One National Voice: An Urban Agenda 2019 aims to create a united voice about national issues affecting the downtowns and main streets of Canada’s cities and towns, and identifies five national issues of great importance to all BIAs and SDCs. It outlines a platform by which commercial areas in cities and towns can become more socially balanced, economically energized, culturally dynamic and innovatively robust, and environmentally sustainable and resilient.

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. 

A Creative Placemaking Guide for Business Districts to Work With Local Artists

This creative placemaking toolkit was created specifically for business districts, offering guidance on engagement with local artists to best enhance the experience and vitality of a place. This guide showcases strategies to integrate the talents and ideas of multiple artists to best address the unique opportunities and challenges in BIDs. The toolkit includes case studies of the six unique placemaking projects funded by IDA, Springboard for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Downtown Rebirth Report

Downtowns, once shunned as empty, unsafe places at night, are now being redeveloped at higher density and are thriving after dark. Patrons of downtown regional destinations mingle with office workers and resident young professionals, empty-nesters, and, in many cities, an expanding number of families with children. The trends of diversification, densification, and adjacent residential revival are also occurring on and around urban colleges, universities, medical centers, and research parks.

Top Issues Council: A Practical Guide to Great Urban Parks

This publication is a resource guide for both current and potential park stakeholders (government partners, public sector partners, and private-sector partners) to advance collaboration and capacity building within the management of an urban park to maximize benefits, while equitably and intelligently sharing costs and responsibilities. The results: A dynamic, thriving space that is accessible to all.

Top Issues Council: From Dumpsters to Biergartens

This publication looks at the placemaking of “interstitial” spaces – the connective tissue that lies between private developments and developed public spaces within the urban built environment. The perception of how we can make use of space is changing as cities strive to reclaim these in-between areas. Drawing on ideas from neighbors, businesses and community groups, UPMOs can implement physical interventions that revitalize and activate what would otherwise be a forgotten space.

Top Issues Council: A Path Towards Better Bicycle and Bikeshare

This publication provides methods and examples relevant to urban place management organizations, including case studies and additional resources, on three focuses: Informing and educating community shareholders, advocating for biking and improvement, and encouraging and incentiviting bicycling.

Top Issues Council: Achieving and Maintaining a Diverse Retail Mix

IDA’s Diverse Retail Council is publishing this report to help urban district managers understand where and how revitalization is happening and how to encourage retail diversity in their work. Urban place management organizations are uniquely suited to champion the diversity of their district’s retail offerings, while both affirming the authenticity of the place and focusing the market demand.

Top Issues Council: Downtown Districts at the Table – Planning for Safety and Security

The 2017 IDA Top Issues Council on Safety and Security has developed this guide as a tool for strategic safety planning for urban place management organizations. The council studied the latest crime trends districts face, examined how a district management organization’s role in emergency response and crime prevention has grown, and explored how technology is revolutionizing communication between law enforcement agencies and the business community.

Top Issues Council: Homelessness in Urban Districts

This publication reflects the experiences and analysis of many urban centers throughout North America and is compiled by a council of place management practitioners experienced with effective homeless solutions. While similarities and differences abound, there are only a handful of truly universal issues which permeate the core of each downtowns across the globe. Homelessness is a challenge which does not discriminate by region, culture, or creed. It is a human challenge with complexities which demand a thoughtful response.

Top Issues Council: Nighttime Economy

After decades of decline and flight from center city districts and neighborhoods in North America, many cities’ central cores are enjoying a modern-day renaissance. Throughout this transition, urban place management organizations have employed a variety of strategies to attract investment and increase opportunities for the surrounding community. This report provides a guide for nighttime districts to regularly reference as they face and address challenges to supporting a nighttime economy.

Top Issues Council: How We Do Economic Development

Downtowns, as areas of rapid growth, have become key tools in the economic development arsenal. They have created the places where entrepreneurs and businesses want to work. This document chronicles and reports on the intersection of downtown management and economic development. Today, economic development has become a staple program of downtown organizations, and the variety of approaches to downtown economic development is immense, reflecting differences in downtowns and their communities.

Top Issues Council: Place Branding – How to Brand and Market Your District

Each downtown and urban district is unique and offers different experiences. More than just a logo, tagline or marketing campaign, place branding identifies and distills a district down to its core identity and sense of place. The IDA Place Branding Top Issues Council has developed this report as a guide for urban districts to evaluate different tools and approaches for their own place branding efforts. Learn best practices and strategies to brand and market your district.

Top Issues Council: Urban Mobility

Urban place management organizations can have a positive impact on urban mobility in their communities in a variety of different ways, from direct involvement to policy advocacy. The Council looks at public transportation, the growing demand for bike infrastructure, and the emergence of technology-driven changes to how people traverse urban places in the 21st century. This report provides suggestions and case studies meant to demonstrate the role UPMOs can play in the context of urban mobility.

Top Issues Council: Inclusive Places

Despite a remarkable urban revival over the past few decades, wealth and income disparities have widened inexorably in city centers, including both within and between metropolitan regions. Some place managers are asking themselves if their work has unintentionally fostered increasingly homogenized and exclusive urban districts. This report explores the challenges and opportunities in prioritizing inclusion and equity in the urban place management field.

Top Issues Council: Adjusting to the Changing Parking Landscape

The goal of the IDA Parking Top Issues Council report is to address the broad menu of parking challenges downtowns face as they function today and plan for the future. This report unpacks competing priorities related to parking, identify items to consider when addressing common parking issues, and find some best practices to research further. This report will also highlight three success stories, offer lessons learned from real-life scenarios and provide takeaways for your downtowns.

2011 U.S. BID Census Report

The study, conducted by the Institute of Business District Management, the Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration and funded by several member organizations of the International Downtown Association, presents a snapshot of the characteristics of BIDs in 2010 and captures such information as: the geography of BIDs; revenue sources & budget size; governance & board composition; tools for measuring performance.

2016 Quantifying the Value of Canadian Downtowns: A Research Toolkit

This toolkit is a groundbreaking effort to provide a downtown data standard, a common set of data and processes that will help Canadian place management organizations, such as BIAs/BIDs, establish and sustain evaluation and compare progress among downtowns. While this toolkit is geared towards Canadian downtowns, it also is of value for urban districts outside of Canada who are looking to move toward data standardization and data best practices. In the toolkit, organizations will find directions and insights on collecting, organizing, storing, and presenting downtown-specific data to make the case for continued investment and support.

Top Issues Council: Prioritizing Pedestrian Improvements

In many ways, urban place management organizations such as business improvement districts (BIDs) continue to lay the foundation for pedestrian improvements by creating a clean, enjoyable environment for pedestrians. However, more effort is now needed to develop the infrastructure necessary to further capitalize on the trend of living, working, and playing in downtown areas. As global populations shift toward urban centers, the opportunity is ripe for downtown areas to improve walkability.

Top Issues Council: Partnerships for Urban Place Management

The work in this guide focuses on defining public-private partnerships, exploring the categories of such transactions through case studies, analyzes the current state of these partnerships in relationship to urban place management organizations, and looks at the unique challenges that these organizations face. This guide shares best practices and case studies from a diverse set of cities.

Top Issues Council: Attracting Commercial Development

Attracting commercial development to an urban core relies on a multitude of factors to be successful. Some of the issues that need to work in tandem to create a platform for attracting commercial development include: a vibrant downtown, a user-friendly permitting process, available capital and land, infrastructure and ongoing management and maintenance. This report provides an overarching view of the evolution of urban retail throughout the past fifty years to the present.

Top Issues Council: Maintaining Authenticity of Place

This report defines the various elements that contribute to the authenticity of a place. This report highlights a ten-point authenticity checklist on: engaged and involved property ownership; commercial diversity and independent businesses; built environment; walkability and accessibility; places that are clean, safe, attractive and welcoming; diversity and culture; public spaces; theater, arts and culture; historic preservation; and vibrancy.

Top Issues Council: Activating Public Spaces – A Guildebook for Urban Districts

The purpose of this guidebook is to identify fundamental challenges that downtown stakeholders encounter when they undertake placemaking efforts to activate public spaces, as well as innovate solutions to these challenges. This guidebook uses real world examples to analyze challenges and solutions to downtown placemaking initiatives in terms of their design, maintenance, funding, and regulation.