IDA – Connecting Leaders and Ideas for Vital and Livable Urban Centers

By Sharon West McCormick, Director of Business Attraction & Marketing

According to Mark Wyckoff of the Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University, “placemaking is not a single new tool; it is a set of best practices for improving the effectiveness and outcomes long-targeted by community and economic development professionals.”

This quote, an excerpt from the recent IEDC publication ‘Place Matters: The Role of Placemaking in Economic Development’, succinctly ties together two distinct professional disciplines that today seem inextricably connected. Add innovative mobility options and now you have a comprehensive discussion on the future of great places!

In the Place Matters publication, the authors point out that traditionally, placemaking has been associated with the planning profession but with the growth of the knowledge economy in the US, placemaking has begun to complement traditional economic development functions. We find in our practice that quality of place (placemaking) and economic development (business attraction and retention, job growth, etc.), coupled with strategic, authentic positioning (marketing and branding), is what leads to true economic development (the building of wealth in a community) and ultimately place revitalization.

On February 12th and 13th, please join RMA team members at the inaugural IDA Southeast Urban District Forum, co-hosted by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, where presentations and discussion will dive into innovative mobility options; economic development strategies; and creative placemaking. “We’re proud to be the host city for this inaugural IDA event,” said Jon Ward, West Palm Beach CRA Executive Director/RMA Management Staff. “We had the opportunity to attend recent international IDA conferences and found them to be inspiring and engaging. We look forward to this regional program and the opportunity for downtown professionals from the five-state region to see and experience the exciting new developments in the City of West Palm Beach.”

Log onto to register and to learn more about the conference – and please let us know if you’re coming! We’d love to connect, give you a tour or just be available to answer any questions you may have about West Palm Beach, RMA services ( or our book, ‘Reinventing Your City – Eight Steps to Turn Your City Around’ by Kim Briesemeister and Chris Brown.