Downtown Long Beach will be home to this year’s West Coast Urban District Forum (WCUDF) and will welcome  the California Downtown Association (CDA) and International Downtown Association (IDA) from March 14-16, 2017.

The annual place management conference is attended by thought leaders, public–private place management organizations and urbanists from downtowns throughout California and the Western Region. This year’s theme, Urbanism: From Placemaking to Change-making, will explore topics ranging from diversifying the investment base in downtown to expanding the downtown footprint in a neighborhood-centric “center city” concept.

“Having CDA and IDA select Downtown Long Beach as its location for this year’s forum is flattering and an honor,” Kraig Kojian, DLBA President and CEO said. “We’re eager to share what a beacon of urbanism and placemaking Downtown Long Beach has become by showcasing the many attributes our district possess and concept we continue to embrace.”

Master talks and breakout sessions will explore how downtowns serve as economic development resources beyond city boundaries, and the role social media plays in encouraging community engagement. Experts will share best practices on enhancing downtown quality of life and cultivating the next generation of leaders.

The year’s keynote speaker, Gabe Klein, formerly served as Commissioner of the Chicago and Washington DC Departments of Transportation and revamped technology platforms and government processes in both cities while focusing on pedestrian and cycling safety and infrastructure. He recently published Start-Up City, a manifesto on revamping how (and how fast) to innovate in cities and rethinking public-private partnerships with a triple-bottom line approach as technology shapes a dramatically different future.

In addition to content-rich breakout sessions and master talks, the WCUDF will feature several pre-conference tours including highlighting the Port of Long Beach; discovering Long Beach’s Art Deco history; a Beach, Brews, and Bike tour, and a walking tour through the various Downtown neighborhoods and developments.

For more information on this year’s WCUDF, visit CaliforniaDowntown.com and follow #WCUDF17 on Twitter and Instagram, on Facebook.