Downtown Development Authority Represented Delray Beach at the 2013 International Downtown Association World Congress

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The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) joined hundreds of worldwide downtown practitioners at the 59th Annual International Downtown Association World Congress event this month in New York City to discuss and share innovative ways to transform and revitalize urban communities.

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“It was wonderful to be surrounded by talented and passionate people that are working together to better their communities..." Marjorie Ferrer, Executive Director, DDA

The Downtown Development Authority(DDA) represented Delray Beach among other downtown practitioners at the 59th Annual International Downtown Association World Congress event this month.

International Downtown Association (IDA) embarked on an experiment to connect downtown practitioners with the people who transform urban places and examine the partnerships that make it all possible. Participants from 14 different countries attended and contributed in over 60 inspiring sessions at the IDA World Congress & 59th Annual Conference held in boroughs of New York City. As Thomas Chapmon, IDA Chairman remarked in his opening address, “We threw caution and indeed participants to the wind, to create something new, inspiring, and informative.”

The New York City BID Association, the New York City Department of Small Business Services, and the City Parks Alliance coordinated and hosted the unforgettable event by integrating the many sessions within the unique theaters, colleges and historic venues. The Delray Beach DDA team took part in the informative sessions learning from downtown practitioners from across the globe including Singapore; Cape Town, South Africa; Philadelphia, PA; Tempe, AZ; Oklahoma City, OK; Austin, TX; and the host city New York. Mayor Bloomberg also graced the conference and shared an excellent presentation. “It was wonderful to be surrounded by talented and passionate people that are working together to better their communities from the way the garbage is picked up to implementing programs to assist with the documenting the value of the Downtown,” says Laura Simon, Associate Director, DDA.

The Delray Beach DDA has been a member of the International Downtown Association for over 15 years and has been collaborating with the organization and its members to assist in the revitalization of this historic Downtown. The DDA has also been instrumental in providing its own lessons to many Downtown Practitioners as they look to enhance their communities or implement their own urban revitalization programs. “The DDA continues to learn from the other cities and inspire many as well – even though we are not as big as some of the other cities we all tend to have many of the same issues, such as gum on the sidewalks – they just have a little more. This is just one of the many conferences that the DDA has attended in the past month” expresses Marjorie Ferrer, Executive Director, DDA.

The DDA brings back to Delray Beach excellent insights on rethinking our streets, redefining the shopping experience, the importance of documenting the numbers and advocating for the downtown. The DDA met many business peers and shared the Delray Beach story to all – many who have heard or been to the Village by the Sea. For more information on the conference visit:

About the Downtown Development Authority:
For the past 41 years, the Downtown Development Authority has assisted in successfully branding Delray Beach as the Village by the Sea. The Delray Beach DDA was created by Resolution 9-71, which became law on March 22, 1971, as a dependent district of the City of Delray Beach.

“The DDA Mission is to enhance and stimulate balanced economic growth through position marketing activities that engage Downtown businesses, residents and visitors while creating a clean, safe, physical and experiential place to live, work and invest.”

The main areas of involvement in downtown development include: Marketing and Promotions; Economic development programs; Security and crime prevention; Traffic and parking; Clean and safe. In addition to the main areas mentioned above, the DDA also works closely with merchants to develop seasonal retail awareness campaigns to generate traffic and sales.

Laura Simon, Downtown Development Authority
85 SE 4th Ave, # 108
Delray Beach, Fl 33483
(561) 243-1077


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