Award Submissions

Awards Submissions Hero

The place management industry is growing as urban areas around the world are experiencing a remarkable renaissance. You are on the front lines of solving challenges related to placemaking, economic development, urban planning, and branding. Share your best practices with the world and be recognized for your exceptional work, by entering the IDA Downtown Achievement Awards. Click here to see the award categories. Full descriptions of the awards opportunities are below.

Bragging rights: Award winners are highlighted on the IDA website and take center stage during the Annual Conference & Tradeshow. Winners are also showcased in the Inspired by IDA newsletter.

Submission Information

The 2018 Downtown Achievement Awards opened February 1, 2018 and the submissions process closed March 30, 2018. The application for 2018 is now closed. Winners will be announced in October 2018.

Submitters must include:

  • A two-page summary in PDF format (no more than 1,200 words)
  • A PowerPoint presentation (no more than 12 slides) 
Submitters may include:
  • Audio and/or video uploads
Submitters who are consultants and/or corporations must include:
  • A reference letter from the downtown organization they are representing 

Note: IDA has permission to publish any portion of this submission (written materials, photographs, etc.) in future IDA materials.

2018 Jury Criteria

Downtown organizations submitting in ANY category: please be very specific on your exact role in the development of this project when entering your submission.  This can be reflected easiest within the two-page summary.
Submissions are judged on the following criteria:
  • Innovation: Does the project or program offer an innovative or unique approach to a downtown management or development challenge?
  • Replication: Does the entry present a solution others could modify for their own downtown circumstances?
  • Representation: Is the project or program inclusive? Were partnerships employed to get the job done? Was the community involved in the effort? Please specify the role of the applicant and the downtown organization.
  • Consultants, please encourage the downtown you want to represent to submit the award. If the consultant is submitting, please complete the Reference Letter portion of the application.
  • Sustainability: Sustainability can be defined as:

          the longevity of a program (growth, self-funding, self-sustaining)
          the positive environmental impact of a program (environmentally conscious)

Entries will be judged on one or both.

  • Execution: What were the steps leading up to the outcome of the project? A good description provides detailed steps made by the organization.
  • Outcome: Was the impact of the effort significant? How was it measured? Was it compared to an initial goal? Describe how your project benefits the downtown and your organization. A good outcome provides easy metrics and before & after information.


Award Opportunities

The Downtown Achievement Awards present three chances to win: the Pinnacle Award, the Award of Excellence, and the Certificate of Merit.
  • Pinnacle Award: The Pinnacle Award represents the most creative and inspiring innovations in the industry. The submission far surpasses the jury criteria.
  • Award of Excellence: The Award of Excellence exceeds the jury criteria and denotes an excellent response to an industry challenge.
  • Certificate of Merit: The Certificate of Merit meets the jury criteria and is considered a standard best practice in the place management industry. 
 *Lastly, the Awards Committee does take into account the size/budget differences associated with project submissions and each project is evaluated independently of these issues.


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