Rise of the Central Social District
Ethan Kent & Sarah Walsh & Derek Gagne
WRLDCTY 2022: New York

While the occupancy of offices in most central business districts remains well below 50%, domestic visitation exceeds pre-pandemic levels in many cities. Is the future of downtown a place to play rather than work? First coined by David Milder years ago, 2022 is ushering in a new era of the Central Social District. How can cities leverage the opportunity of pleasure + people + place?

About The Speakers
Ethan Kent
Executive Director, PlacemakingX

Ethan Kent works to support public space and placemaking leadership around the world, to grow the global placemaking movement that he helped found. In 2019 he co-founded PlacemakingX to network and accelerate placemaking for global impact, supporting the creation of 15+ regional placemaking networks.

Sarah Walsh
Senior Design Manager, Global Design, Marriott International

Sarah Walsh is a Senior Design Manager at Marriott International’s Global Design team with a focus on EDITION and W brands. Recent hotel openings include The Reykjavík EDITION and The Tampa EDITION with upcoming projects such as The Red Sea EDITION.

Sarah is a licensed architect and member of the AIA and USGBC. She graduated from Pratt Institute and Ecoles d’Art Américanes de Fontainebleau. She is the recipient of Boutique Design’s 2021 Class of Boutique 18. Her passion lies in creating guest experiences around the world that unite architecture, interior design, lighting, art, landscaping, and music with efficient operations to form successful hotels that help define the cities in which they exist.

Derek Gagne
Associate Principal, EDSA

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