Michael Banner is the founder of the Urban Marketplace Conference. (Courtesy photo)

Michael Banner will headline the 22nd Urban Marketplace Conference sponsored by ULI Los Angeles, a district council of the Urban Land Institute. Banner is a founder of the conference and past chair of ULI Los Angeles.

The interactive event takes place on Tuesday, March 29, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at The Trust Building, 433 S. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles.  The theme is  “Advancing Equity Through Infrastructure – Part II.”

The agenda builds upon the Fall 2021 Urban Marketplace focus on the historical impact of infrastructure investments on underserved neighborhoods and communities of color. Urban Marketplace offers actionable next steps for industry professionals to be intentional and strategic about equitable development.

“Infrastructure is one of the most powerful and necessary tools for revitalizing struggling neighborhoods. And yet, past projects have caused harm to communities through infrastructure investments that overlooked adverse, long-term impacts to these communities,” said Urban Marketplace Chair and Ashurst counsel Shmel C. Graham.

Banner specified that evaluating the housing needs of underserved communities requires careful attention to gentrification and community-based growth.

“As housing scarcity grows, less commercially desirable neighborhoods become financially attractive to affluent renters,” he said.

“The market then catches the attention of investors and developers, spurring surges in rents and displacement that further harms residents and smaller business owners. Urban Marketplace makes sure ULI is at the table to deliver changes, even in home ownership. The effect of the event can now be seen in Los Angeles neighborhoods such as downtown and in cities such as Inglewood.”

Urban Marketplace was designed, in part, Banner said, to flip displacement on its head and bring attention to flourishing economic opportunities before the flood of gentrification. In contrast, many infrastructure investments affect housing negatively, as evidenced by freeway projects that often remove homes and displace communities:

The 2022 Urban Marketplace will focus on infusing equity in new infrastructure investments. “Infrastructure projects will have catalytic value, but we have to implement them in a way that doesn’t harm communities,” he said.

Urban Marketplace 2022 will include a special Fireside Chat, Plenary Panel and interactive Roundtables.  The Fireside Chat participants are Dale Bonner, executive chairman of Plenary Concessions America; and Stephanie N. Wiggins, chief executive officer of L.A. Metro.

The Plenary Panel will feature Tony Salazar, president of McCormack Baron Salazar; Danny Bakewell Jr., executive vice president of The Bakewell Company; KeAndra Cylear-Dodds, executive officer of Equity and Race at L.A. Metro; Mia Lehrer, FASLA, president of Studio-MLA; and Jason Lombard, managing director of The Lombard Circle.