Our Speaker Series hosts guest speakers on an array of topics. Whether you’re a downtown employer, worker, resident, or community member, there is always a new question to answer. With outdoor, in-person as well as virtual options, our Speaker Series is a unique opportunity to hear insights from experts and community leaders and share space with our neighbors.

Our Next Saint Paul Speaker Series Event


Whether you're already back in the office full time or part time or are currently preparing for the return, we'll hear from downtown employers, public safety officials, event planners and more about what you can expect during the rest of 2021.

Thursday, September 2, 12 - 1 p.m.

Register here. 

Panelists will include representatives from SPPD, SPDID, Ecolab, Goff Public, Securian Financial, Palace Theatre, Lowertown Sounds and One Simple Plan.

Festival in Downtown Saint Paul



Recording here.

The pandemic-induced work-from-home experiment has altered perspectives on work, flexibility and the office.

When COVID-19 is no longer a lingering health concern, workers will not be expected to come into the office for tasks that can be done from anywhere. What purpose does the office serve in the future and how will that purpose impact the way occupiers think about their portfolio footprints, location strategy and office layouts? What are the implications of the changing nature of the office on owners, corporate users and civic leaders? How much work-from-home penetration should we expect and what are the variables that impact it?

Explore potential outcomes of the future of the office and what it means for urban districts regarding office occupancy and the street life urban place management organizations oversee.

Christopher Leinberger profile


Co-Founding Partner & Managing Director, Places Platform, LLC (Washington, DC)
Chris Leinberger is a land use strategist, developer, professor, researcher and author. He balances business realities with social, environmental and public health issues. Currently, Mr. Leinberger is Managing Partner and Co-founder of Places Platform, which assesses place-based economic, social equity and public health by measuring and managing economic growth, net fiscal impact, real estate valuation, achieving social equity and increasing public health. He is also Professor Emeritus at the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business Mr. Leinberger has written two books, The Option of Urbanism, Investing in a New American Dream and Strategic Planning for Real Estate. In 2017, he was named one of The 100 Most Influential Urbanists of all time in poll on Planetizen.com.
David Smith profile


Vice President, Global Head of Occupier Insights, Cushman & Wakefield (Atlanta, GA)
David C. Smith is the Global Head of Occupier Insights for Cushman & Wakefield. He produces thought leadership content focused on how economics, demographics, technology and space usage trends impact commercial real estate users and investors. David previously spent over a decade at Kingsley Associates, a leading provider of research and benchmarking solutions to real estate companies around the world


Recording here.

Join us as we take a brief look back on some of the highlights from the past year with the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance and then we'll hand the mic off to Joe Minicozzi, who will share why the value of downtown Saint Paul is so important for the city a whole.

Downtown speaker series presenter


Principal, Urban 3
Joe Minicozzi, AICP is the principal of Urban3. Prior to creating Urban3, he served as the Executive Director for the Asheville Downtown Association. Joe is an urban planner imagining new ways to think about and visualize land use, urban design and economics. Joe founded Urban3 to explain and visualize market dynamics created by tax and land use policies. 


Slide deck here.

Downtowns face a period of unprecedented opportunities over the next two decades. The extraordinary changes that have triggered revitalization of North American cities are precursors to more far-reaching change. Downtowns need to start planning today to manage—and draw public benefit from—this period of transformational change. Join us and hear from David Dixon about how downtown Saint Paul can prepare for these opportunities.

David Dixon black and white profile


David is committed to helping with cities and suburbs alike unlock urban renaissance made possible by a perfect storm of dramatic demographic, economic, environmental and technological changes—including ongoing planning for transformation of the Lyndale Avenue Corridor in Bloomington, MN. The AIA gave David its Thomas Jefferson Award for “a lifetime of … significant achievement in [creating]… livable neighborhoods, vibrant civic spaces, and vital downtowns.” Residential Architecture Magazine named David to its Hall of Fame Award as “the person we call when we have a question about cities.” He is co-author of Urban Design for an Urban Century: shaping more livable, equitable and resilient cities (Wiley, 2014) and co-editor of Suburban Remix: creating a new generation of urban places (Island Press, 2018).