Place Management Industry Convenes to Discuss Emerging Trends in Downtowns and City Centers

October 04, 2019




Place Management Industry Convenes to Discuss Emerging Trends in Downtowns and City Centers 

The 2019 conference will bring together over 900 inspired leaders shaping cities to showcase Baltimore’s urban renewal projects, diverse residential communities, innovative districts, and thriving cultural scenes. 



Washington, DC – The innovative members of the International Downtown Association (IDA) will come from around the globe this October for a three-day conference themed “Proudly Urban” to discuss topics facing downtowns and city centers, and to learn how embracing this proudly urban mindset can benefit districts of all sizes. IDA’s Annual Conference & Tradeshow is the premier gathering for professional placemakers and urban champions creating vibrant and healthy cities around the world. 

“We are honored to host this year’s IDA Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Baltimore where attendees will explore this dynamic city and be inspired by top urban thinkers,” said David Downey, President and CEO of IDA. “Our members bring new ideas, trends and innovative solutions to challenges in urban place management from cities all over the world to support their downtowns and bring city centers to life.” 

More than 900 industry leaders from around the globe will meet to discuss topics facing downtowns and city centers such as culture and community; parking and mobility; housing attainability; municipal partnerships; urban design; historic preservation; downtown infrastructure; residential growth; entrepreneurship; and more. 

The IDA Conference features more than 35 sessions and 10 Master Talks, short keynotes from industry leaders. Twenty tours and mobile workshops will introduce delegates to the city and offer an opportunity for study, networking and the exchanging of ideas. Attendees will explore Baltimore’s easily walkable neighborhoods, diverse residential communities, innovative districts, transit connectivity, architecture and thriving cultural scenes. 

“Baltimore is engaging, innovative, and easily walkable,” said Downtown Partnership of Baltimore President, Kirby Fowler. “Within downtown neighborhoods, attendees will see conference themes – like office-to-residential conversion, historic preservation, and placemaking – being put into practice. I look forward to showing off our city to the world.” 

2019 Master Talks speakers include: 


• Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City 

• Kate Jonas, Director of Urban Strategy and Development for MIG and former Seattle Deputy Mayor 

• Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries 

• Natasha Moraga, urban artist 

• John Snook, Executive Director, Treatment Advocacy Center 

• Andrea Batista Schlesinger, Partner at HR&A Advisors (Inclusive Cities practice) 

• Albus Brooks, Vice President for Milender White and former Denver City Council member 

•Annie Milli, Executive Director of Live Baltimore

•Molly Alexander, Executive Director of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation

•Hilton Carter, plant/interior stylist, fine artist, and re-patrioted Baltimorean

The 2019 “Proudly Urban” conference is co-hosted by IDA and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, and takes place October 28-30, 2019. View the full conference schedule here.


About IDA

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


About Downtown Partnership of Baltimore

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore oversees Maryland’s oldest and largest BID with initiatives that increase investment, retain business, solve transportation challenges, improve parks and green space, and create workforce development opportunities. Downtown Baltimore’s easily walkable neighborhoods include a range of architecture, public spaces, dining and cultural attractions, as well as some of the United States’ first urban renewal projects. For more information, visit