/ COVID-19 / IDA and Stantec release Urban Place Management Playbook for Post-Pandemic Growth

IDA and Stantec release Urban Place Management Playbook for Post-Pandemic Growth

Parul Dubey on August 6, 2021 - in COVID-19, News

Report outlines framework for futures of downtowns and center cities across the U.S. and Canada


WASHINGTON, DC — The International Downtown Association (IDA) and Stantec’s Urban Places have partnered to release a new report highlighting evidence-based approaches for urban districts navigating the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on Recovery for Urban Place Management features case studies of IDA member organizations, offering recommendations and detailing results for downtown and center city recovery. The report also draws on observations from a series of focus group sessions conducted in April 2021 of 55 CEOs from urban place management organizations across the U.S. and Canada.

While some long-term initiatives are cited, the report emphasizes short-term, tactical steps to bring people—and revenue—back into downtowns. These suggestions empower urban place management organizations, city partners and other stakeholders with the tools to leverage new opportunities and advocate for additional funding to support current efforts.

Examples of strategies identified include:

  • Disseminate key data points surrounding district recovery
  • Permanently implement open streets programs and outdoor dining, streeteries and parklets
  • Use strategic planning to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion internally
  • Expand districtwide programming to be more inclusionary
  • Develop programs supporting minority entrepreneurs


“Building on Recovery for Urban Place Management highlights the best examples and outcomes of the resourceful and effective measures urban districts took in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of our communities,” said David Downey, CAE, Assoc. AIA, President and CEO of IDA. “Our members rallied—despite a period of chaotic upheaval—to organize increased cleaning of public areas, communicate timely information, distribute relief funds and help small and local businesses stay afloat. These actions were just the beginning of incredible efforts to sustain our urban places, and the work continues now in recovery to help our districts thrive.”

“Downtowns will play an increasingly critical role in promoting economic and cultural vibrancy for our communities,” said Jonathan Tinney, Principal with Stantec’s Urban Places. “Many cities are already undertaking innovative, thoughtful strategies to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including many lessons to be shared and implemented in other cities across North America.”

Building on Recovery for Urban Place Management is now available for download on downtown.org. IDA will be hosting a webinar, Advancing Places: Building on Recovery for Urban Place Management, on Friday, August 6, 2021, at 11:15 am ET. Presenters from both Stantec’s Urban Places and IDA will outline actions UPMOs can consider to ensure downtowns, city centers and urban districts recover more strongly.

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 downtown.org.


About Stantec’s Urban Places

Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind. We care about the communities we serve—because they’re our communities too. We’re designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe. Stantec’s Urban Places team is an interdisciplinary hub within the firm bringing together leaders in planning and urban design, smart mobility, resilience, development, mixed-use architecture, smart cities, and brownfield redevelopment. We work in downtowns across North America—in cities and suburbs alike—to unlock the extraordinary urban promise of enhanced livability, equity, and resilience. Learn more at www.stantec.com/urban-places

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