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Authority on downtown trends to speak in Duluth

A leading authority on downtown trends will be the guest speaker at a Greater Downtown Council luncheon next month that’s open to the public.

The Sept. 17 presentation by Brad Segal, president of Progressive Urban Management Associates in Denver, will be based on the organization’s research that began in 2006. The resulting annual Global Trends Reports have gotten national attention.

“Other Midwest cities such as Milwaukee and Madison have utilized Brad and this program to spark great dialogue and planning for the future,” said Kristi Stokes, president of the Greater Downtown Council.

Besides helping downtowns, employers have used the trends reports for planning purposes and for changing work environments.

Some of this year’s top 10 trends are:

* The number of women in professional occupations is growing, and they’ll be dominant in the future. So to stay vital, downtowns will need to have mixed-use offerings — including shopping, grooming services, socializing and child-rearing options — that appeal to professional women and keep them working downtown.

* While the Great Recession is over, the practical spending habits that replaced consumers’ prerecession impulse buying and conspicuous consumption is continuing.

* Mobile devices allowing work to be done anywhere, anytime, are lessening the need for formal office space. So office design is changing, combining business with social activity. And less office space will be needed.

Segal will discuss these and other trends during the 90-minute luncheon that will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 17 at Greysolon Plaza, 231 E. Superior St., in Duluth. Cost is $25. To register, visit or call the downtown council at (218) 727-8549.