Research Graphic

IDA maintains a wide array of resources on best practices, trends, and research to ensure our members are always at the forefront of the place management industry, transforming cities into healthy and thriving places. Please visit our publications page to gain access to IDA reports.

IDA Research Committee

The IDA Research Committee is comprised of industry experts who help IDA align strategic goals and top issues to produce high-quality research products informing both IDA members and the place management industry. Chaired by Executive Committee Board Member, Kristopher Larson, President & CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, the 2018 Research Committee is continuing the work set forth in the board-approved research agenda, focusing on three strategic, big-picture items: advancing the Top Issues Councils towards potential policy development, developing industry benchmarking, and providing oversight on the creation of a downtown vitality index. As the Research Committee works as three sub-groups, the IDA staff continues the day-to-day work of managing the Canadian downtown dashboard, The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities, and the Top Issues Councils.

Top Issues Councils

Since 2016, a selection of the most pressing issues facing downtown urban centers has been addressed by IDA's Top Issues Councils. These Councils bring together industry leaders to produce research briefs on the top urban issues identified by IDA members in the areas of economy, experience and partnership. This strategic initiative promotes the expertise of the profession and provides meaningful tools and information to IDA members. See the issues.

The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities

Great Cities and Regions Start Downtown. A strong downtown is critical for a successful city and region. Downtowns and center cities are where people, capital, and ideas coalesce due to size, proximity and density. 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. Learn more.

Advisory Panels

IDA’s Advisory Panels are a time-tested way to explore new ideas, solve difficult problems, and rally the board, staff and community around priority projects. Panels involve some of the best and most experienced downtown practitioners, as well as experts in specialized fields. Interested in knowing more?

IDA Publications

IDA maintains a wide array of resources on best practices, trends, and research to ensure our members are always at the forefront of the place management industry. View IDA publications.

What We're Reading

Stay current on the latest books and articles related to downtown management. IDA thought leaders and Research Committee members select the industry's best reads and have prepared reviews. Read more.

Ongoing IDA Data Collection

Surveys are part of a larger initiative that illustrates the value of thorough industry data and how important it is for IDA to continue developing organizational profiles for our industry. The IDA Research Committee and staff will continuously be compiling industry intelligence and place management organizational performance data. Stay tuned for new surveys.

Public Safety Benchmarking: In 2015, IDA partnered with KPMG to understand leading practices on safety in places across the country. Eight place management districts provided valuable input, which are summarized in this document. The results show place management organizations participating in or even serving as the convener of partnerships with city or local police, local municipalities, social service organizations, or homelessness outreach professionals to enhance the security of a place. This is an initial step for benchmarking public safety practices within urban districts.

Residential Assessments: Faced with a mounting challenge to amend state legislation, an IDA member in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sought to understand current practices in residential assessments and reached out to IDA for assistance. We surveyed our members, who responded dramatically with helpful information: residential properties contribute assessments in a slight majority of districts (51%). Read our latest Research Update for more on assessment of residential properties, both revenue and non-revenue producing. The survey on residential assessments remains open; if you have not yet responded, please take the survey.

Research questions? Contact Cathy Lin, Director of Research at cathy@downtown.org.