IDA - Place Management Industry Convenes in Atlanta for Annual Conference

August 18,2016

IDA Members Discuss Global Urban Challenges

IDA’s innovative members convene in Atlanta this September for a three-day conference themed Progress Through Partnership, which embodies Atlanta’s approach to achieving impact, embracing trends, and solving problems that face downtowns and urban districts around the globe. On Sept. 7-9, nearly 800 place management professionals will explore Atlanta as an urban laboratory, investigating the city’s successful solutions to housing attainment, retail attraction, urban parks, transportation, and more.  

The 2016 conference brings together place management professionals that effect significant change in every major metropolitan area in North America in an industry that is growing rapidly around the globe. The conference features more than 50 sessions, tours, mobile workshops to get out into the city, and ‘master talks,’ or short keynotes from industry leaders with the Dumpster Project, Jamestown L.P., Georgia Institute of Technology, Urban3, The Bitter Southerner, and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, to name a few.

“Our members bring new ideas from cities all over the world to support their downtowns and make them vibrant and healthy places,” said David Downey, President and CEO of the International Downtown Association. “This is the premier gathering for place management professionals to be inspired by top urban thinkers while exploring a dynamic city. What better place to go than the hometown of Dan Sweat, a titan of the industry and the namesake of our Dan E. Sweat, Jr. Award for Lifetime Achievement in Downtown Leadership.”

Richard H. Bradley, a 30-year industry veteran and founder of Washington, D.C.’s first and largest BID, the Downtown DC BID, is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award.

IDA’s members have a proven track record of creating collaborative public-private partnerships to tackle weighty issues. More than 2,500 downtown management districts, often called Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) or Community Benefit Districts (CBDs), such as the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, exist in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. This conference is the primary educational and networking opportunity to investigate solutions to urban issues such as:

  • maintaining authenticity and character in urban centers;
  • activating public spaces;
  • attracting diverse retail tenants;
  • encouraging and supporting public art and culture;
  • safety, cleanliness and beautification; and
  • branding and marketing.

View the full conference schedule here.

The 2016 Progress Through Partnership conference is co-hosted by IDA, Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District.

About the 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 city builders and 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 Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District

Central Atlanta Progress is a private, not-for-profit corporation that strives to create a robust economic climate for Downtown Atlanta. With a Board of Downtown's top business leaders, CAP is funded through the investment of businesses and institutions.

The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, founded in 1995 by CAP, is a public-private partnership that strives to create a livable environment for Downtown Atlanta. With a Board of nine private and public-sector leaders, ADID is funded through a community improvement district within which commercial property owners pay special assessments.

Together, Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District are committed to a Downtown for the diverse Atlanta community and all of Downtown's property owners, employees, residents, students and visitors.