The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities

An IDA Pilot Study — A strong downtown is critical for a successful city and region. This report is the result of an eight month study to create a replicable, accessible and standard methodology to calculate the value of downtowns. The 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. This research shows the importance a downtown has on its city and region, thus demonstrating its unique return on investment to help advise future decision making and to increase support from local decision makers. This free report is available for download in the IDA webstore.




Achieving and Maintaining a Diverse Retail Mix

A 2017 Top Issues Council Report — This report will help urban district managers understand where and how revitalization is happening and how to encourage retail diversity. 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. True diversity means crossover appeal, that a “diverse” retail mix is not just one that contains businesses specifically (and exclusively) catering to the individual subcultures within the catchment, but also, feature concepts that can draw from the full range of them and, in so doing, reflect the larger role of the urban place as a “crossroads” for its community. Click here to purchase.




Downtown Districts at the Table: Planning for Safety and Security

A 2017 Top Issues Council Report — This guide was developed 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. Several case studies and best practices are shared throughout this publication, with the intent that districts can learn from one another and replicate programs that are a fit for the local place management organization. Click here to purchase.




From Dumpsters to Biergartens: Case Studies in Alley Activations

A 2017 Top Issues Council Report — This council decided to address a problem that urban place management organizations can creatively and efficiently address – the activation of alleyways and so-called micro-spaces. The spaces under observation in this report are existing alleys and micro-spaces in the central urban core or downtown districts. This report examines seven infrastructure projects spearheaded by urban place management organizations in North America and Australia. Alleys and other “in-between” infrastructure have long been overlooked but when activated, can change the way we engage with our city. Click here to purchase.




Homelessness in Urban Districts: Principles & Implications for Place Managers

A 2017 Top Issues Council Report — This publication reflects the experiences and analysis of many urban centers throughout North America and is compiled by a council of urban place management practitioners. The need for new, comprehensive approaches in addressing the issue of homelessness has risen to the forefront of conversations in urban centers across the world. While the policy approaches are not simple, the Council advocates for a declaration of four principles for urban place management organizations to use, which inspire engaged and active urban centers: Housing First, Partnerships, Stakeholder Balance, and Data, Programs and Policies. Click here to purchase.




A Path Towards Better Bicycle Infrastructure: A Guidebook for Urban Place Management Organizations

A 2017 Top Issues Council Report — Urban place management organizations, such as business improvement districts, can play an important and effective role in improving conditions for bicycling, thus improving conditions of safety and walkability. This report describes three general areas in which these organizations can make significant contributions to improving conditions for bicycling: informing and educating community stakeholders and local government officials; advocating for improvements and partnering with other organizations; and encouraging and incentivizing bicycling through the development of programs and collaboration with local government, businesses and community partners. Click here to purchase.




A Practical Guide to Great Urban Parks: How to Benefit from and Finance your Urban Park

A 2017 Top Issues Council Report — 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. This report defines a great urban park, how it works, and how it is funded. The report is divided into four sections: Inputs, Activities, Outputs and Impacts, and Case Studies. Click here to purchase.




ABCs for Creating BIDs

This report is designed to help downtown organizations, property and business owners, local government officals and downtown advocates explore the formation of a BID by examining how a BID works and outlining a five-step process for creating a BID. Case studies, source documents and links to resources are provided. By M. Bradley Segal, September 2002. 33 pages. $10. Click here to purchase.



Activating Public Spaces: A Guidebook for Urban Districts

A 2016 Top Issues Council Report — This is an in-depth guidebook for urban place managers who are programming public spaces, transforming them into an activated amenity for the community. The guidebook dives into the various regulatory, design, funding, and maintenance issues for both temporary and permanent placemaking initiatives. Click here to purchase.




Attracting Commercial Development: Tools and Case Studies

A 2016 Top Issues Council Report — Attracting commercial development to an urban core relies on a multitude of factors to be successful. This report includes examples from across the globe to show the diversity of economic development tools and successful attraction of commercial development. Click here to purchase.



Creative Placemaking: A Guide for Business Districts to Work with Local Artists

This highly anticipated Guide for Business Districts to Work with Local Artists is a toolkit designed through a partnership with IDA and Springboard for the Arts that is specifically geared towards improvement districts, offering guidance on engagement with local artists to best enhance the experience and vitality of a place. This free guide showcases strategies to integrate the talents and ideas of multiple artists to best address the unique opportunities and strategies within business districts. Click here to download the November 2017 updated toolkit, including 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

“Downtown Rebirth” features an analysis of downtowns and employment centers in America’s 150 largest cities for jobs, documenting for the first time the number of people who work and live in and around 231 diversified employment centers and providing information about job density, city form, and the percentage of Americans who are choosing these live-work environments. Click here to learn more.



High-Performing Urban District CEOs

This report explores the leadership skills required to run a dynamic, successful place management organization. The study is the result of in-depth interviews with 50 current and former leaders within the downtown and urban district management industry from the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and South Africa. The study highlights urban district CEOs as diverse, adaptive, skilled and savvy leaders in their communities, and will become a critical guide for career development and hiring of industry leaders. Published May 2016. Click here to purchase the report.



Living Downtown: The New Residential Paradigm

A 2016 Top Issues Council Report — This report explores the importance of downtown residential activity, reviews efforts to attract housing development into downtowns and discusses many of the elements of accommodating downtown residents once they are there. Click here to purchase.



Maintaining Authenticity of Place

A 2016 Top Issues Council Report — This report defines the various elements that contribute to the authenticity of a place to benefit the daily work of city builders, planners, place managers and community leaders. The authors highlight a ten-point authenticity checklist to be a roadmap for place managers who seek to increase their community’s authenticity, with the acknowledgement that each community’s path may be different and that there is no one cookie cutter method for authenticity. Click here to purchase.



Partnerships for Urban Place Management

A 2016 Top Issues Council Report — This report explores how place management organizations use public-private partnerships (P3) to play a vital role in the transformation of their communities and serves as a guide for these place management organizations to strategically and pragmatically shape such partnerships for the benefit of their downtowns and neighborhoods. Click here to purchase.



Prioritizing Pedestrian Improvements

A 2016 Top Issues Council Report — This report analyzes the results of an IDA member survey that touched on four key areas as they relate to pedestrian experience: education; engineering and planning; enforcement; and technology, and addresses the important role that urban place management organizations play when it comes to increasing walkability and enhancing the pedestrian experience. Click here to purchase.



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. Click here to purchase the report.



2017 Staffing & Salary Survey

The survey captures data on key positions and such information as average staff salary, organizational budget, and CEO salary and benefits. The survey covers nearly 50 questions and offers an extensive array of cross-tabulations showing how salaries, staffing and other topics vary by U.S. geographic region, type of organization, operating budget and more. The 2017 survey includes updated data and a larger response rate than ever before. Click here to purchase.



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. Names and contact information for surveyed BIDs not included. 46 pgs. Click here to purchase.