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Professionalizing business district management for the twenty‐first century

Fayth A. Ruffin (School of Public Affairs and Administration, National Center for Public Performance Research, Rutgers, Newark, New Jersey, USA Graduate Division of Global Affairs, Public Administration Concentration, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 14 March 2008




This paper seeks to explore leading theories and concepts in professionalising the emerging field of business district management.


In the context of globalization and localization, it discusses distinctive place‐based elements of business improvement districts (BIDs), such as: law, nomenclature, assessment formulae, and branding; while suggesting and analyzing strategic international application of certain theories and concepts.


As an outgrowth of a literature review of globalizing cities, public administration, urban management, and BIDs together with semi‐structured interviews of respondents in connection with doctoral dissertation research and in view of co‐designing curriculum for and teaching a business district management certification program; research reveals that public entrepreneurship, social capital, network governance, and performance management can transcend disciplines and cut across sectors to be key theories and concepts for education and training of business district managers worldwide. However, management training is to be contextually developed consistent with branding techniques for the business district.

Practical implications

Future research and evaluation of BIDs in the globalizing metropolis can ground theory to inform best practices and professional standards that will enable similarly situated business districts across the globe.


Examining BID management is not new, however the thrust toward professionalising the field is new.



Ruffin, F.A. (2008), "Professionalizing business district management for the twenty‐first century", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 29-45.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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