Urban Exploration

2020
Location | Portland, OR 
Dates | June 24 - 26

The Downtown Alliance’s annual Urban Exploration trip brings together public and private sector leaders to build relationships, learn from experiences of other urban cores and inspire ongoing innovation in Salt Lake City. We are traveling to Portland, Oregon, in 2020 to explore projects relevant to emerging developments and initiatives in Salt Lake City.

Registration | REGISTER HERE

The seventh annual Urban Exploration trip is scheduled to take place Wednesday, June 24th, through Friday, June 26, 2020.  Participants should plan to arrive in Portland in time to attend the opening reception at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, June 24th.

Portland features a wide array of case studies for us to explore. The Downtown Alliance team is hard at work identifying the best projects, contacts, and locations for the itinerary. We will share more as details are finalized, but themes will include:

  • Development Projects | Portland has emerged as one of America’s great cities, which has led to a real estate boom. There is no shortage of development (and redevelopment) projects in the downtown area. We’ll be able to examine sustainable building practices and strategies for dense and affordable housing.

  • Culture & Arts | Locals spare no expense to “Keep Portland Weird.” Portland is known for its thriving foodie culture, from microbreweries and doughnut shops to food truck parks and fine dining establishments. You’ll find the streets abound in public art and host world-class performing arts venues.

  • Economic Development | We couldn’t visit Portland without taking a look at how they have been able to develop a strong tech ecosystem, from corporate recruitment to workforce development. The city is also home to a vibrant local business infrastructure, adding to its unique character.

  • Safety & Security | It’s no secret that Portland has had its fair share of problems related to homeless and transient populations. It is important for us to recognize how the issues have affected development, and what methods have been successful to help overcome them.

  • Public Space Activation | Walking around Downtown Portland, you’ll come across a number of public parks and plazas. Public spaces like these are important factors in developing a culture of festivals and markets to activate the city’s streets. Creative placemaking has allowed for the establishment of distinct districts throughout the city. 

  • Transportation & Mobility | Portland has a prevalent bike culture that is hard to find in the U.S. and is supported through an extensive system of bike lanes and trails. The city and region also have a unique approach to multi-modal transportation planning, including policies to address scooters and micro-mobility.

The registration fee for the Urban Exploration is $2,750 and that includes all programmed activities, select meals, a hotel room for 3 nights, staffing and briefing materials. Trip participants are responsible for airfare, extra hotel nights and meals before/after formal trip itinerary. The deadline to obtain the $2,750 rate is May 15, 2020. After May 15th, the fee will be $3,000.  

Registration, accommodation or sponsorship questions? Contact Nancy Kaschmitter at .

Cancellation Policy | Partial refunds of registration and guest fees will be granted if written notification is given by May 15th, 2020. Please contact

Important Dates:
Dec 3 - May 15 - Registrations accepted
May 15 - Final date to reserve $2,750 rate
June 24 - 26 - Urban Exploration | Portland, OR

Previous Trips

2019 | Austin Learn about Austin's growing tech ecosystem, public-private partnerships and nightlife economy in our day 1 and day 2 blogs. 

2018 | Minneapolis See what we did in Minneapolis in our day 1 and day 2 blogs. 

2017 | Boston Explore our blog to see day 1 and day 2 of our Boston trip. Highlights include the Boston Public Market, Fort Point Redevelopment, The Greenway and more. 

2016 | San Francisco Take a look at our blog to see day 1 and day 2 of our Bay Area trip. Highlights include the Ferry Building Public Market, urban placeholders in Hayes Valley and more. 

2015 | Chicago Check out our blog to see day 1 and day 2 of our Chicago trip. Highlights include Millennium Park, co-working spaces, the 606 neighborhood, street murals, river cruise and more. 

2014 | NYC The most populous city in the United States, New York City is an urban metropolis like none other. It is the world center for culture and innovation, science and technology, proximity and efficiency.