2020 West Coast Urban District Forum

March 11, 2020 Update

As you are already aware, the CDA Board of Directors, Downtown San Jose and IDA reached a very difficult decision to suspend hosting our 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum in San Jose this week. A mandatory order issued by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department requires the cancellation of mass gatherings in the county starting March 11, 2020 and will remain in place for three weeks. Significant information continues to emerge which suggests our event did not warrant our community of place management professionals to make this trip.

While we are all disappointed by the suspension of the 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum this month due to the community health implications, IDA and CDA are committed to delivering the value you have come to rely on from this annual forum. An in-person forum is being rescheduled for late July or early August in San Jose. IDA and CDA will provide more program information and exact dates in the coming weeks once the hotel confirms our reservations

In the meantime, IDA and CDA are proceeding with sharing great forum content in an alternative fashion tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, so you can still get the most out of your West Coast Urban District Forum experience this week (minus a whole lot of hand sanitizer)! We are planning to hold the “virtual event” during the general time frame of our original conference, March 12-13, 2020. The agenda has been adapted for the online format.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. (Pacific Time) | Master Talks Sponsored by Block by Block
– Dwayne Marsh, former Deputy Director of Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE)
– CJ Johnson, Executive Director of East Oakland Black Cultural Zone Collaborative

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.  (Pacific Time) | Keynote Speaker with Q & A”
– Dr. Thomas Insel, Special Advisor to the Governor Newsom on Mental Health & Chair, Steinberg Institute

Friday, March 13, 2020

8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. (Pacific Time) | COVID-19: An IDA Member Community Discussion
The quickly evolving impacts of the coronavirus on downtowns, center cities, and neighborhood districts has all IDA members reacting in real time. This is a time when our community of professionals can benefit from the combined wisdom within IDA and together begin to understand how communities are responding. Join this web-based open discussion and hear from three leading IDA member CEOs about how their city and organization is responding to the outbreak. The session will include a moderated Q&A.
– Tami Door, President & CEO of Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc. and IDA Board Chair
– Dewitt Peart, President & CEO of Downtown Austin Alliance
– Jon Scholes, President & CEO of Downtown Seattle Association
– David Downey, President & CEO of International Downtown Association (IDA)

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Pacific Time) | Session: Under the Dome – Setting the Downtown Agenda (CDA Legislative Update)
– Jason Bryant, Principal, Bryant Government Affairs
– Emilie Cameron, Public Affairs & Communications Director, Downtown Sacramento Partnership
– Emellia Zamani, Lobbyist, California Travel Association

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) | Keynote Presentation with Q & A
– Somjita Mitra, Chief of Economic Research at the Department of Finance, State of California

On behalf of all the organizers who have worked to craft an exceptional program, the expert speakers who have worked to hone their presentations, and the tireless work of the Downtown San Jose team who prepared for your arrival, we hope you understand the difficult decision we needed to make and you will support the alternative presented. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

Next steps? IDA will send you instructions with your attendee log in information for the virtual event taking place this Thursday (March 12) and Friday (March 13). You will receive this information end of day today (Wednesday, March 11). If you prefer to cancel your registration for the virtual event and rescheduled event, please email registration@downtown.org to receive a full refund. Please visit our FAQs below for more information. If you have any additional questions regarding this event, view IDA’s event page for the FAQs.

IDA and CDA thank our local host partner, sponsors, presenters and volunteers for all their work, dedication and support on the 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum. We look forward to connecting virtually this week and again this summer.

March 9, 2020 Update

The CDA Board of Directors, Downtown San Jose and IDA have reached a very difficult decision to suspend hosting our 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum in San Jose on March 11, 12 and 13, 2020. Significant new information continues to emerge which suggests our event does not warrant asking our community of place management professionals to make this trip. Given how close this is to the event, we felt very strongly we must communicate to you immediately, even as the full details of the postponement are still being resolved. Look for more detailed information in the next day or so on how we intend to proceed with sharing the conference content in an alternative fashion and continue delivering the value you have come to rely on from this annual forum.

About the West Coast Urban District Forum

Join the San Jose Downtown Association, California Downtown Association and IDA for the 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum. Master Talks and breakout sessions will explore how managing downtowns and public spaces has become much more than flower baskets and events. Experts will share best practices on economic development strategies, multi-generational leadership, and cross-sector collaboration and how it plays an important role in the work that we do.

San Jose Downtown Association, a non-profit, membership-based organization founded in 1986 to represent business and property owners, covers over 100 blocks in the historic, yet rapidly developing, center of San Jose. SJDA makes downtown a better place for businesses, residents and visitors through events, advocacy, marketing and more. SJDA also manages the San Jose Downtown Property Owners Association, a PBID focused on clean, safe and beautiful programming, and the San Jose Downtown Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to arts and art education in downtown. We look forward to seeing you in San Jose!

Attend the Event

There will be no on-site registration for the 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum in San Jose (March 2020).

Cancellation Policy: Written notice of cancellation is required. Cancellations received via email by February 19, 2020 will receive a refund less a $100 processing fee. Cancellations received via email after February 19, 2020 will not be refunded. Refunds will be processed approximately 30 days after the event. Please email the cancellation notification to the International Downtown Association by emailing at registration@downtown.org.

Adding a Pre-Conference Tour: Please note, the pre-conference tours sell out quickly. Therefore, it is advisable to add these items at the time of your registration. If you are registering for someone else or a group, please find out their selection prior to registering them. Although each person within the group can purchase a tour after they have been registered, they run the risk of the tour no longer being available. If a tour is sold out, you can be waitlisted by contacting the registration department at registration@downtown.org.

Payment Methods: For your convenience, payments may be made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Should you need to pay by check, you will not be able to complete registration online. Please email registration@downtown.org for assistance.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information from CDA and IDA

For  current information about COVID-19, we encourage you to refer to the following resources:

Updated 3-9-2020

The Program

View the program (the program is subject to change.) Get social! What questions will you come ready to ask? Share them on Twitter #WCUDF20.

Pre-Conference Tours

San Jose Development Tour ($50) | Wednesday, March 11, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Visit three of downtown San Jose’s most innovative development projects. Villas on the Park, a permanent supportive housing development for chronically homeless individuals, is the first of its kind in the city of San Jose. The Graduate is a college student-centric co-living high-rise project, a new planning classification for housing in San Jose. *This tour includes bus and walking; please plan accordingly.

Downtown San Jose Art Pedicab Tour ($50) | Wednesday, March 11, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. |  This curated tour will focus on murals painted by various artists—both local and global—and the art institutions that set the stage for these amazing works of public art. The artists and art institutions work with city staff, property owners and downtown district groups, to bring life to the downtown landscape and infuse important moments of cultural story-telling through murals. Stops include the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, MACLA and Anno Domini. *This tour includes a pedicab; please plan accordingly.


The deadline has passed for the WCUDF attendee rate at the Fairmont San Jose, located at 170 South Market Street. To inquire about available rooms, call the Reservations Department at 1-408 -998-1900 or 1-888-495-2126 and reference the International Downtown Association event.

Urban Champions


District Advocates




Sponsoring the West Coast Urban District Forum allows you access to an audience of urban leaders from around the country who want to learn how your product or service can work for them. Download the 2020 Marketing Opportunities PDF to review sponsorship packages that were offered and plan ahead for 2021. Contact Tracie Clemmer, IDA Director of Corporate Relations, at tracie@downtown.org for more information about sponsoring the Spring 2021 Forum.

Join the California Downtown Association

Read more about CDA membership benefits here. Attending the 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum? Pay only $50 in dues* for the remainder of this calendar year. Download the enrollment form here.


Interested in hosting a future event? Contact Carolyn Dellutri, IDA Director of Professional Development at carolyn@downtown.org.