Welcome to the IDA submissions portal. Here you will find links to submit projects, proposals, and applications. For any submission, you can always save, exit and return to your work at a later time. To begin, please select the category in which you wish to submit. Note, you will need to create a Submittable account (or login to an existing account), which is separate from your IDA account.

Join IDA in Baltimore, Maryland for the 65th Annual Conference & Tradeshow, October 28-30, 2019. This year’s theme will bring together the brightest industry minds to discuss and challenge ourselves to define what it means to be Proudly Urban and how embracing this mindset can benefit districts of all sizes.

As our members work shaping cities, they are faced with challenges each day and it is our goal to provide the most current and up to date information from around the globe. Challenges faced by urban place management organizations demand innovative and collaborative solutions to getting the job done. We are seeking session proposals that provide solutions for emerging trends facing urban place management organizations today. Consider topics around historic preservation, economic development, sustainability, infrastructure, affordability and social equity, placemaking, public safety and homelessness. 

We invite you to submit your best ideas!  Submission details and topic guidelines are below. When submitting your session proposal, please keep in mind the committee looks for diversity in topic, geographic region, race, ethnicity and gender for the makeup of a panel. 

Don’t delay, as the deadline to submit proposals is Thursday, March 7, 2019, 11:59 PM PT. Joint proposals including peers from multiple cities will be given higher priority for consideration. Full consideration will be given to all complete submissions using the following guidelines: 

  • Proposal offers fresh topical ideas and reflects the diversity of IDA's membership
  • Proposal includes three learning objectives. Please answer the following statement for each learning objective: “After this session attendees will be able to...”
  • Proposal is relevant to the conference theme and IDA practitioners
  • Proposal includes innovative approaches and perspectives
  • Proposal engages the audience and presents forward looking approaches to new challenges
  • Proposals may include up to three speakers plus one moderator.

Conference sessions should fit within one of the seven core domains below. If you need assistance please contact Carolyn Dellutri, Director of Professional Development at carolyn@downtown.org

These seven core domains should act as a framework for urban place managers to utilize in furthering their professional careers and to aid in their work enhancing vibrant urban places. Urban place managers lead, curate, organize, convene, and push for positive change and economic growth. 

  • Economic Development Business Recruitment; Business Retention, Market Analysis/Market Research; Real Estate Financing; Historic Preservation Financing; Real Estate Development      & Redevelopment; Attainable Housing- Workforce and Affordable; Residential development; Nighttime Economy; Tourism; Innovative Financing Methods; Working with entrepreneurs through Incubators, Co-working spaces and foodhalls; Retail recruitment including restaurants, national chains, local   independents and pop-ups. 
  • Planning, Design and Infrastructure Downtown visioning; downtown master planning; real estate development, zoning, land-use and permitting; streetscape improvements; transit-oriented      development; multi-modal transportation; accessibility; sustainable infrastructure; open space planning; bicycle infrastructure; parking operations/management; way-finding; attainable housing initiatives and historic preservation. 
  • Public Space Management & Operations Clean, safe and hospitality; placemaking; activation;      parks and open space; homelessness, panhandling and social services; opioid epidemic; beautification and landscape; public safety; public art; sidewalk activations; facilities management; street banners and holiday décor; parklets; technology trends for managing, responding, tracking and reporting. 
  • Policy and Advocacy Government Relations; Research; Stakeholder/Community Engagement; Equity and Inclusion; Social Issues; Legislation. 
  • Marketing, Communication, and Events Branding; Public Relations; Public Engagement;      Communications; Marketing strategies; Data and Metrics; Messaging and Reporting; Sponsorship and Fundraising strategies; Technology Trends; Crisis Communications plans. 
  • Organizational Management Governance; District Assessment models, District Formation and enabling legislation; Operational Systems; Board Management;  Managing your team; Non-Profit Finance. 
  • Leadership Development Leadership Skills; Visioning; Board Leadership  including roles/responsibilities/expectations; Strategic planning with your team and board; External Relationship Building. 

Deadline: Thursday, March 7, 2019, 11:59PM PT. Submissions received after that date may not be considered. To get started, please complete the form below. You can stop, save and return to work at any time before the deadline. When you've completed the form, please click 'Submit' at the bottom. 

Please remember that speakers are required to register for the conference. Options for daily registration will be available.

Note:  Submitting an idea or panel session does not guarantee selection. IDA reserves the right to select ideas and speakers to fit the needs of our diverse audience.  

Our members are our experts. Each year, IDA's Top Issues Councils are led by industry leaders coming together to produce research briefs on top urban issues identified by IDA members. In 2019, we have Councils on Municipal Partnerships, Housing Attainability, and the Opioids Crisis. We are now opening up one more Council for your participation:

  • Smart Cities, Smart Districts:  How can place management organizations best navigate the complexities of new technologies to more effectively manage their districts and create vibrant environments? 

This Council will explore the myriad of technologies that are becoming implanted in the urban environment, including, but not limited to, mobility, infrastructure, communications, energy, community engagement, and financing. The Council will provide guidance on key questions to understand when making a technology-related decision, and point towards the role of place management organizations in advancing smart cities. Because of the fast-changing nature of technology and breadth of opportunities, we expect this year's Council to be the inaugural edition of a perennial Top Issues Council topic. 

All Council members must be members of IDA, and both district leaders and private sector providers are encouraged to apply. Council members are expected to actively participate on weekly/bi-weekly calls over a six-month period. Typically, members spend about 25-30 hours of work spread out over those six months, with chairs taking on an additional leadership role to guide the work.   

Council members are selected based upon the following application form, as well as by topic, expertise, diverse demographics (including geographic location, city size, IDA involvement, etc.). 

Submitters should use this category to highlight successful efforts and strategies that have recruited new businesses, stimulated sales or improved retention efforts. Efforts to encourage a strong workforce and maintain a diverse mix of commercial and residential development may also be considered. 

Submitters should use this category to highlight programs and events that improve the image and vitality or enhance the street life in your community.  This category could include one time or annual festivals, events and gatherings, as well as ongoing efforts such as innovative clean and safe programs. The entry should address only the event or program itself. 

Submitters should use this category to submit projects that illustrate unique organizational approaches and projects that improve the effectiveness of placemaking organizations and their role in the community, to include leadership development and organizational management, as well as policy, fundraising, engagement and advocacy efforts.

Submitters should use this category to highlight strategies that use print, electronic media, social media or multimedia efforts to promote and stimulate, advance the brand, or create sense of place. This category includes design work, campaigns, and marketing plans for events and other programming. 

Submitters should use this category to feature planning efforts that have established a strategic position for your district/association. Submissions should focus on the process as well as elements of the plan that have already been approved, ratified, and implemented. They may also include design guidelines and related documents as well as city wide comprehensive plans that address the urban environment. 

Submitters should use this category to feature capital improvements and maintenance plans that have enhanced the urban design, transportation methods, physical function, or economic viability of the community. This includes infrastructure, public art installations, and public space creation and management.