Measuring Downtown's Value — to Everybody!

What You'll Learn

  • Learn to measure the value of downtown in a variety of aspects, including equity, economics, and civic engagement.
  • Explore ways to make the case for downtown public and private investment that reaches beyond economic/fiscal benefits.
  • Learn ways to engage a broader range of regional stakeholders in shaping downtown's future.

More Course Details

In 2015 IDA (formerly International Downtown Association) launched The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities. Results are in from the first cohort of 25 cities, and speakers discuss the results.

The study has two missions, both focused on documenting the full breadth and depth of downtown's value to host cities and regions:

  • Provide data extending well beyond economic and fiscal benefits to measure downtown's value in promoting equity and inclusion; diverse economic opportunity; cultural, economic and entrepreneurial innovation; civic engagement; community across increasingly rigid lines of economic, racial and cultural diversity; environmental responsibility and resilience; and related issues.
  • Provide communities, mayors and city councils with a broader, more tangible understanding of downtown's value and how downtown touches the lives of every member of the community in multiple and significant ways.

The first 25 cities include major downtowns such as Austin, Texas; Baltimore; and Seattle, together with midsize and smaller cities such as Anchorage, Alaska; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Lancaster, California. They are in every region — regions that vote red or blue and areas that are growing or shrinking.

Learn how you can access and use the data to make a better case for your downtown.