Walnut Creek

The inaugural Southeast Urban District Forum was hosted by IDA and West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority on February 12-13, 2018 with a focus on innovative mobility options; economic development strategies; and creative placemaking. West Palm Beach is a growing, mid-sized downtown situated at the northern end of the South Florida megalopolis. Throughout this region of Florida, there are fantastic examples and nationally recognized projects that have helped transform previously dormant urban places into thriving centers of activity and investment. With history, culture, natural beauty, and a rapidly evolving urban core, West Palm Beach is the perfect showcase for what is happening in IDA’s Southeast region.

Get social! What questions will you come ready to ask? Share them on Twitter using #SEUDF18.


Attend the Event

Registration is now closed for the 2018 Southeast Urban District Forum.

  • Early Bird Rate: $175 until Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • Regular Rate: $200 until Wednesday, February 7, 2018
  • On-site Registration Rate: $225 available February 12-13, 2018 (registration takes place at the Hilton West Palm Beach located at 600 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401)

  • For further information or assistance, please email the IDA registration team at registration@downtown.org.


    The Program

    Click here to view the final 2018 program.


    #SEUDF18 Master Talks Announced

    Michael Berne, President & Owner, MJB Consulting
    Michael Berne, President of MJB Consulting, is one of North America's foremost experts in Downtown and Main Street retail. In addition to speaking and writing extensively on the subject, he has conducted market analyses, devised tenanting strategies and spearheaded implementation efforts in cities and towns across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Berne will be presenting on "The Future of Physical Retail in the Age of Online: Why Amazon Might Not Win." Not a day passes without new headlines heralding the death of “brick-and-mortar" retail at the hands of e-commerce. But how do we separate fact from fiction, sober analysis from hyperbole? This timely session will look more closely at the realities on the ground, delve deeper into the nuances of what is actually happening, offer some predictions for how the industry will likely evolve in the coming five to ten years and discuss what it all means for our Downtowns.


    Pola Bunster, Director of Storytelling, Prism Creative Group
    Pola Bunster is the Director of Storytelling at Prism Creative Group, a mission-aligned creative agency geared toward re-branding Miami and amplifying culture through community events and experiential marketing. A Miami native, Pola has worked on many projects at Prism that have helped make culture and community accessible around the city. Through in-depth storytelling and curated events, they have played a significant role in revitalizing neighborhoods and helping to build a better Miami.


    Meg Daly, Founder, Friends of the Underline
    Meg Daly is the Founder of Friends of the Underline, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization transforming the underutilized land below Miami’s MetroRail into a 10-mile, urban trail and linear park. She is passionate about parks and public spaces and was named a 2014 Angel by the Miami Herald.

    Michael DeBock, President & CEO, Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Inc
    Michael DeBock serves as president and chief executive officer of Palm Beach County’s largest and most influential business advocacy organization. DeBock leads the substantial political, lobbying, grassroots, policy and operations of the Economic Council. The Economic Council of Palm Beach County focuses on creating a business climate that generates prosperity and sustainability, strong communities and competitiveness of the county and its strategic membership.

    Victor Dover, FAICP , Principal of Dover, Kohl & Partner
    Victor Dover, FAICP is an urban designer known for helping make neighborhoods more walkable, bikable, livable, valuable, and equitable. Based in Coral Gables, his firm works all over the US; in the Southeast, Dover, Kohl & Partners is recognized for designs including Glenwood Park in Atlanta, the revitalization plan for downtown Montgomery, and the corridor plan for Columbia Pike in Arlington. Dover co-authored Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns (Wiley, 2014).


    Tony Garcia, Principal of Street Plans Collaborative
    Tony Garcia is a nationally recognized architect, writer, speaker and advocate in the in the field of transit, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. He is the former Chairman of the Green Mobility Network, the largest bicycle pedestrian advocacy organization in South Florida, and co-founded the Ludlam Trail project, which will result in the addition of over 50 acres of new park space in Miami-Dade County.


    Sam Gill, Vice President/Communities & Impact, Senior Adviser to the President at John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
    Sam Gill joined Knight Foundation in June 2015. In his capacity as VP/Communities and Impact, Gill leads Knight’s Community and National Initiatives team, which helps cities attract talent, expand opportunity and promote civic engagement. In addition, Gill leads the Learning and Impact team, which measures the impact of Knight’s work and facilitates the sharing of lessons learned, both from its own grantmaking, field-wide evaluations and other research and study. Gill earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of Chicago and a Master of Philosophy in politics from the University of Oxford, England, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.


    Gopal Rajegowda, Senior Vice President, Related Companies and Managing Partner, Related Urban-Southeast
    Mr. Rajegowda joined Related in 2004, and manages all aspects of mixed-use real estate acquisition and development, including financial analysis, deal structuring, partner negotiations, financing, and project and asset management. His experience includes multiple mixed-use hospitality developments, including the W South Beach in Miami Beach and the Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, where he directed the programming, development and grand opening of the food and beverage and retail. Most recently, he led the development of the Hilton West Palm Beach, a public-private partnership with Palm Beach County. Mr. Rajegowda is passionate about developing successful destinations that bring forth the vitality of urban locales by combining world-class architecture, urban planning, dynamic shopping, restaurants, entertainment, offices, and residences. Mr. Rajegowda holds an M.A. in Real Estate Development from Columbia University and a B.A. in Mathematics from Cornell University. He currently resides in West Palm Beach.



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    The Hilton West Palm Beach is offering a rate of $260/night for a standard room. Please book your room by Friday, January 26, 2018 online. Click "attendee" in the drop down menu. You may also call (561) 231-6000 and mention the "Downtown Development Authority conference" to book your room. The Hilton West Palm Beach is located at 600 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33401.


    District Advocate


    Reception Sponsor


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    O'Donnell Agency
    Wantman Group, Inc.

    Forum Friend

    Burkhardt Construction, Inc.


    Sponsoring the Southesst Urban District Forum allows you access to an audience of urban leaders from around the country who want to learn how your product or service can work for them. Download the 2018 Regional Marketing Opportunities PDF to review sponsorship packages for the 2018 Southeast Urban District Forum in West Palm Beach, FL. Contact Tracie Clemmer, IDA Director of Corporate Relations at tracie@downtown.org for more information.


    Cancellation Policy

    Cancellations received by phone or email on or before Friday, January 26, 2018 will receive a refund less a $100 processing fee. Refunds will be processed approximately 30 days after the event. Cancellations received after January 26, 2018 will not be refunded.



    Interested in hosting a 2019 or 2020 event? Contact Carolyn Dellutri, IDA Director of Professional Development at carolyn@downtown.org.