Award Categories

Awards Categories Hero

Visit our Webstore to purchase previously recorded webinars featuring past Pinnacle Award winners. Downtown organizations submitting in ANY category: please be very specific on your exact role in the development of this poject when entering your submission. This can be reflected easiest within the two-page summary. 

Downtown Leadership and Management

Unique organizational approaches, projects, etc. that improve the effectiveness of downtown management organizations and their role in the community.

  • Example: The Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) was formed to address the crime and decay caused by disinvestment and neglect in the business areas of Parow and Bellville. The district worked to develop programming to assist the homeless population, including building a multi-purpose center where individuals could address their basic needs and offering skills development with job opportunities, among other programs. Working with multiple channels towards a central vision places the district organization at the center of all social development activities within its area of operation.

Economic and Business Development

Successful marketing efforts and strategies that have recruited new businesses or improved retention efforts in downtown.

  • Examples: Open for Business was designed to increase awareness of the West End BIZ as an ideal place for businesses to locate. In 2017, a final component was added, the West End Trends Report, providing further invaluable analysis of population and business trends. Since October 2015 when the project was first introduced, 81 new businesses have chosen to locate in the West End and website traffic has increased from 6,220 visits in 2013, to 20,607 visits in 2016.


Planning efforts that have established a strategic position for downtown, and that include elements of the plan that have already been approved, ratified, and implemented.

  • Example: The NoMa Parks Initiative created by the NoMa BID planned to deliver parks and great public spaces in a vibrant, growing neighborhood. Through a partnership with the District of Columbia Government, the NPF has a $50 million capital grant, structured over six years, to execute the NoMa Public Realm Design Plan. This Plan was developed with significant stakeholder and community input, and identifies innovative strategies for developing parks and open spaces.

Public Space

Capital improvements that have enhanced the urban design, transporation methods, physical function, or economic viability of downtown and the community. 

  • Example: Following a feasibility study, CDDC secured $36 million in funding from generous public and private partners and began the hard work of restoring the riverfront. The project is the final piece in the transformation of the riverfront that has led to more than $400 million in private sector activity. Scioto Greenways has provided a beautiful path, whether by walkway or waterway, to travel through the heart of Downtown Columbus.

Marketing and Communication

Strategies that use print, electronic media, social media or multimedia efforts to promote downtown.

  • Example: Downtown Halifax’s Date Night Marketing Campaign aimed to drive traffic to the Date Night page on their web site; it was met with instant local success: the video gained over 10,000 views on Facebook and 135,000 YouTube video views. On the heels of this success, and inspired by a tweet, Downtown Halifax decided to treat a random couple from Toronto to an all-expenses paid dream date. They made a video documenting the experience and it received 117 shares on Facebook and almost 400 likes.

Events and Programming

Programs and events that improved the image and vitality of downtown.

  • Example: For Programming the Promise, the South Park BID invited its residents to share feedback on their behavior pattern through surveys and meetings. The results revealed interest in events that were free and involved art. Informed by this feedback, SPBID implemented five innovative series: “Green Carpet” Business-Of-The-Month, “Art in the Park”, “Meet Your Artist”, Experiential Art, and Resident Block Party.