Annual IDA Conference | Exploring Equitable Investment in Urban Downtowns

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

A city’s downtown is its vital artery, providing access for the flow of people from one destination to another and serving diverse retail, cultural, and civic needs for residents, workers, and visitors. When you picture any given municipality from Portland, ME to Portland, OR, you’re likely picturing their downtown. Downtowns are the municipality’s welcome sign, the ubiquitous view with which they are inevitably associated – and they belong to everyone. Investment in a downtown has a lasting impact on the development of policies impacting the broader municipality and the formation of external perceptions and broader cultural narratives about that municipality.

From October 28-30, Karp Strategies’ Director Ali Sutherland-Brown attended the annual International Downtown Association (IDA) conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Ali joined over 900 place management professionals, thought leaders, and urban planners to participate in a variety of talks and tours focused on the theme of “Proudly Urban.” “The conference was a great reminder of why we do what we do and how to do it well,” affirmed Ali.