IDA Releases Six In-Depth Research Reports on Top Urban Issues

November 13, 2018




IDA Releases Six In-Depth Research Reports on Top Urban Issues




Reports explore economic development, parking, place branding, inclusive places, nighttime economy and urban mobility.



WASHINGTON, DC – The International Downtown Association’s Top Issues Councils bring together urban place management 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, started in 2016, promotes the expertise of the profession and provides meaningful tools and information to the urban place management industry. The third annual IDA Top Issues Council reports are now on sale after six months of in-depth research by members.

Over 45 IDA members served on six Top Issues Councils this year, supported by IDA staff and the IDA Research Committee, each exploring a key topic within the industry and authoring a guidebook for sharing trends, case studies, and recommendations. This year’s reports cover a diverse range of challenging topics, from economic development to inclusive places and nighttime economies.

“The expertise of IDA members has been pivotal in the revitalization of urban centers for decades. We are once again excited to share that knowledge with the world,” said David Downey, Assoc. AIA, CAE, IDA President & CEO. “It’s excellent to see the depth of insight and breadth of topics that our industry leaders experience each day.”

Each report takes a deep-dive into challenges facing the place management industry, from strategies for nighttime economies to best practices for economic development and place branding.

  • How We Do Economic Development: Best Practices and Trends for Place Management Organization

sponsored by ICSC

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 represents an effort to chronicle and report 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. This report discusses best practices and trends in economic development for place management organizations.

  • Inclusive Places: Prioritizing Inclusion and Equity in the Urban Place Management Field sponsored by MIG

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 that may be unwelcoming. This report explores the challenges and opportunities in prioritizing inclusion and equity in the urban place management field. It provides toolkits designed to help UPMOs to incorporate a more inclusive approach into their programming.


  • Nighttime Economy: A Guidebook for Emerging, Growing and Established Nighttime Districts

After decades of decline and flight from center city districts and neighborhoods in North America, many of these 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 emerging, growing and established nighttime districts to regularly reference as they face and address challenges to supporting a nighttime economy.

  • Adjusting to the Changing Parking Landscape: How to Best Position Your District for Success sponsored by Parking Today

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. The reader of this report should be able to better understand 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 that readers can apply to their own downtowns

  • Place Branding: Best Practices and Strategies 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 yourdistrict.

  • Urban Mobility: The Role of Urban Place Management Organizations in Prioritizing Connectivity

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 urbanmobility.

The reports are available for purchase as hard copy bundles or digital PDF (bundle or individually) in the IDA webstore.


About International Downtown Association

The International Downtown Association is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are downtown champions who bring urban centers to life,  bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit