IDA Awards Top Industry Honor to Seven Organizations

November 10, 2019



IDA Awards Top Industry Honor to Seven Organizations



IDA Presents Awards Recognizing Innovative Achievement in Urban Place Management




Washington, DC – The International Downtown Association (IDA) recognized 21 outstanding projects as winners of the Downtown Achievement Awards which identify improvements to urban centers by dedicated organizations around the globe. The winning organizations represent over 20 cities in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. The top seven projects received Pinnacle Awards, the industry’s highest recognition, representing the most creative and inspiring innovations in urban place management.


Urban place management organizations are on the front lines of solving challenges related to placemaking, economic development, urban planning and branding. These organizations activate public spaces and make cities vibrant, healthy places for everyone. During a comprehensive review, this year’s projects were awarded by a jury of IDA members in the following categories, downtown leadership and management; economic and business development; events and programming; marketing and communications; planning; and public space.


“These innovative projects received the IDA Pinnacle Award for setting the new standard for improving cities worldwide,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “Each award-winning project has made an impact on its city and the people who live, work and play in the community, and demonstrates the continued commitment to champion livable, vital and thriving urban centers.”


Winners of this year’s Pinnacle Awards are:


  • CC2DCA Pedestrian Connection Feasibility Study

Crystal City Business Improvement District – Arlington, VA, U.S.

The Crystal City BID saw an opportunity to further leverage the DCA airport’s proximity to their downtown by bringing it a few steps closer. A new pedestrian connection could harness the multitude of transportation assets in Crystal City, seamlessly linking them into a multimodal hub, and positioning the neighborhood to attract additional rail service such as Amtrak, regional commuter rail, and even a future high-speed rail station.


  • Pop-Up Winnipeg Public Toilet

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ – Winnipeg, MB, Canada

The Pop-Up Winnipeg Public Toilet initiative aims to lead by example through providing an accessible, clean, secure, well-maintained, monitored public washroom facility. The Pop-Up has captured the imagination of people in Winnipeg and beyond, generating enthusiastic media coverage, and stirring conversations recognizing the importance of human dignity and access to public toilets in the downtown.



  • Garment District Rezoning

Garment District Alliance – New York, NY, U.S.

The Garment District Alliance, which represents Midtown Manhattan, recently played a leading role in a plan that culminated in a New York City Council vote to remove a neighborhood zoning overlay, releasing millions of square feet of space from outdated, use-restricting regulations. The Alliance’s budget will be increased by $2.5 million for ten years to fund programming that improves quality of life and economic vitality for all in the area.


  • The Lower Polk Tenant Landlord Clinic

Lower Polk Community Benefit District – San Francisco, CA, U.S.

The Lower Polk Tenant Landlord Clinic (TLC) is an innovative homelessness prevention program serving the historic Lower Polk district of San Francisco. The clinic’s primary mission is to help vulnerable residents save their homes by avoiding eviction. Known affectionately as “TLC,” the program brings together a coalition of experts in myriad disciplines to address the diverse needs of the target at-risk populations. In its first year of operation, TLC helped 87 people save their homes.


  • SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan and Sub Area Planning

MIG, Inc. – San Antonio, TX, U.S.

The SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan is multi-layered and sequentially moves from big-picture vision through implementation. The plan includes 13 regional centers, as well as plans for community areas. The downtown is one of five regional centers being planned in the first phase. Those first set of plans will be completed and adopted by summer 2019 and the second phase commenced in January of this year.


  • Activating Nicollet | A Street for All

Mpls Downtown Improvement District – Minneapolis, MN, U.S.

There were three challenges in the renovation of Nicollet Mall: capitalizing on the new space, engaging the community, and executing an activation plan. Now, downtown Minneapolis has a plan to attract inclusive, year-round events, amplify partner efforts, and fill in future programs.

  • OverFlo: Hurricane Florence Preparation, Recovery and Resilience

Wilmington Downtown Incorporated – Wilmington, NC, U.S.

Wilmington Downtown Incorporated led a herculean effort to prepare for, and then recover from, Hurricane Florence. The process included working closely with Emergency Management personnel, property owners, and others. After organizing six months of events, OverFlo raised more than $128,000 for six nonprofits providing food, shelter and other services for hurricane victims.


In addition to the above Pinnacle Award winners, 14 projects were awarded an Excellence Award for their outstanding response to an industry challenge.


IDA’s members have a proven track record of creating collaborative public-private partnerships to tackle weighty issues. More than 2,500 downtown management districts exist in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Place management organizations affect significant change in every major metropolitan area throughout North America in an industry that is growing rapidly around the globe. Place management work touches every discipline of city building, including economic development, leadership, marketing, events, public space management, policy, planning and infrastructure.


The 2019 Downtown Achievement Awards are sponsored by Sky Connect Networks. All seven projects were honored at the 65th Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Baltimore, Maryland on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.  Additional information on the Pinnacle award winners can be found online at



About IDA

IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit