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Best Practices Trip from Greater Portland visits Brooklyn, gains insight on community improvement projects

October 06,2017 | By Cara Rene
A group of nearly 100 delegates from the Greater Portland region recently participated in a best practices trip to Brooklyn and learned about the New York borough’s extensive adaptive reuse projects, workforce development and the emergence of a robust creative class, homelessness initiatives, tourism, alternative transportation programs, and more.



The trips are organized by Randy Miller, President of Produce Row Property Management and a long time GPI board member. Miller has been leading best practices trips for more than 30 years.  



The group – an assemblage of private and public sector professionals - had the opportunity to hear from local leaders and experts on issues that parallel concerns in our region as well as discover practices that fostered conversation on how our region implements solutions to critical matters.

Among several opportunities, the delegation experienced:  
  • A talk with Andrew Hoan, President of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, who gave an overview of the growth of the borough’s neighborhoods and businesses and reflected on the increase of ethnicities, countries and languages represented.
  • A presentation by David Ehrenberg, President and CEO, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, one of the nation’s premier adaptive reuse projects.
  • A networking event with Fred Dixon, CEO of NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organization for the five boroughs of New York City.
  • A visit to the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, an initiative of the Pratt Institute, to hear from founder Debera (CQ) Johnson and about cutting edge designs being turned into successful businesses.
  • An overview and tour of Industry City with CEO Andrew Kimball to see how 16 former manufacturing buildings on dozens of acres have been repurposed into an innovation ecosystem and light manufacturing center.
  • A visit to the DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood to discover how to create a thriving community.
  • A chat about transportation alternatives and engaging partners to lighten congestion and move commuters.
Some delegates also enjoyed a Yankees game, a guided evening stroll along the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan, or free time to take in shows or endless food options.



Each evening, the delegates have the chance to discuss what was learned during the day and share ideas. The four-day trip concluded with a debrief to share takeaways and ideas for areas of focus going forward.

If you are interested in receiving information about future best practices trips, please contact Cara Rene, Vice President of Stakeholder Relations at GPI, at cara.rene@greaterportlandinc.com.

Photo gallery

Brooklyn Best Practices Trip

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