Last week, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance was proud to host West Coast Urban District Forum, a conference for leaders from downtowns across the Western US put on by the California Downtown Association and International Downtown Association.

We welcomed nearly 200 of the best and brightest in urbanism to venues throughout DTLB from The Blind Donkey to The Loft on Pine to the Small Business Development Center.

Master talks and breakout sessions explored how downtowns serve as economic development resources beyond city boundaries, and the role social media plays in encouraging community engagement. Throughout the two day conference, experts shared best practices on enhancing downtown quality of life and cultivating the next generation of leaders.

Gabe Klein, former VP oat ZipCar and  co-founder of CityFi, delivered a master talk on “Shared Mobility, Housing & Prosperity in the 21st Century Downtown.” Of the major takeaways, Klein noted:

“Just imagine if we cut traffic by 70% to 90% – we have one shared lane, one car lane and a lot more space for people. That’s an incredible opportunity that we have to make our cities, our downtowns, more livable. There’s a lot of concrete, but we could have more grass and trees.”