Several DLBA staff members will be traveling to San Jose in mid-March for the West Coast Urban District Forum (WCUDF), a conference in which solutions to common city-center concerns are addressed by DLBA and other Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) from the west coast and beyond.
DLBA, which hosted the WCUDF in 2017, will play an active role in this year’s conference: DLBA President and CEO Kraig Kojian served on this year’s planning committee and will be a panelist, as will Outreach Manager Steve Be Cotte and Placemaking Manager Mariah Hoffman, while Chief Operating Officer Broc Coward and Economic Development and Policy Manager Austin Metoyer will be moderating panels.
“DLBA is known as a BID trend influencer,” said Coward, who will be the interlocutor in a discussion about best practices in the Request For Proposal (RFP) process. An RFP is a way for a BID to solicit proposals and find the best price for services such as DLBA’s porter and ambassador services.
This year’s attendees will be able to attend a pre-forum tour of Downtown San Jose before launching into the three-day conference, in which there will be several keynote speakers and a plethora of panel discussions with topics like “Defining Urban Vitality” and “Global Trends 2020: What’s Next For California Downtowns.”
DLBA rolled out the red carpet when it hosted the WCUDF, using the many creative meeting and event boutique spaces in DTLB for panel discussions and coinciding the conference with the Taste of Downtown food festival in East Village. DLBA staff also developed an unofficial Downtown “bar crawl” for visiting BIDs, along with a list of morning-after breakfast spots.
“The West Coast Urban District Forum is a means of sharing our expertise and gaining more knowledge from BIDs throughout the western United States that are trying different approaches to common challenges,” said Coward, who pointed out that Downtown Long Beach’s Alley Busters cleanliness program was influenced by information gained at a WCUDF panel held in Oakland a few years ago.
This forum is another means by which DLBA strengthens its toolkit for making Downtown Long Beach an increasingly vital city center. In turn, this vitality radiates outward and benefits all of Long Beach, including its other BIDs.