2018 National Planning Conference

Street Theater: Creating a Downtown District

Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m. CDT

Location: 222

CM | 1.25

Cost: Included in Registration

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188219


  • How an arts district generates economic development through design and how to find the right mix and balance of uses for an active public space throughout the day
  • How creative components leverage public commitment into private investment
  • How to recognize the impact of public engagement during the development process


In 2009 the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency launched a process to revitalize a 10-acre block into a new arts and culture district in the heart of downtown. The result of the city's vision was a public-private partnership that brought a 2,500-seat Broadway-style theater, a 25-story office tower, new retail spaces, and a redesigned and reconnected festival street to an area of the city with a lot of history and opportunity. This session will focus on the process, the vision and the "deal" that has created one of the most exciting new places in the oldest part of downtown Salt Lake City. Learn how the city engaged with the cultural and civic community to generate public and private investment that has transformed and reinvigorated its downtown. Key project members will engage in a lively discussion with the audience to explore how culturally led redevelopment projects can be used as an economic driver and how public investment can be translated into activation, renewed energy,and excitement within communities. The panel will utilize creative public-engagement techniques (similar to what was utilized in this project) to solicit participation and draw the audience into the discussion.

Session Speakers

Jason Mathis
Downtown Alliance Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, UT

Lindsey Ferrari
Wilkinson Ferrari & Co.
Salt Lake City, UT

Stephen Swisher
GTS Development
Park City, UT

Danny Walz
Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

Christine Richman, AICP
GSBS Richman Consulting
Salt Lake City, UT

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