News from the Top

ID(E)A: It’s All In A Name


The opportunity to be inspired is one of the most rewarding benefits of IDA membership. More than a collection of individuals, we are a consortium of ideas—thousands of them emanating from the 3,500-plus practitioners in the IDA network.

The best ideas were on display earlier this fall as we announced the recipients of the 2021 Downtown Achievement Awards: a total of 36 winning projects out of a record-breaking 96 submissions. In case you missed the announcement, you can review the 2021 Pinnacle Award winners on the Innovative Projects page of the IDA website. An additional 29 Excellence Award-winning projects and 33 other projects that our committee deemed to be industry best practices now live in IDA’s Knowledge Center—a resource available only to IDA members and one of my first stops when toying with a new idea.

Announcing the Downtown Achievement Awards is the culmination of a months-long effort by our fellow IDA members who volunteer to serve on the Awards Committee. Although it’s never easy selecting winners, this year’s process was especially challenging given the extraordinarily thoughtful and original responses urban place management organizations around the world exercised in the face of multiple crises. I want to thank the over 65 organizations who took the time to submit their projects this year for inspiring us all with your ideas. I’d also like to extend my appreciation to the 15 volunteers who comprised the 2021 Downtown Achievement Awards Committee and devoted their time to reviewing submissions and deliberating winners.

In a few months, you’ll receive more information about the 2022 Downtown Achievement Awards submission process. Until then, it’s not too soon to take stock of your work and begin pulling together the threads of future submissions. The best resource for organizations that are considering entering a project or program is always going to be your peers, so I’d encourage you to browse the Knowledge Center for a complete list of previous award-winning projects. I also included some insights into the jury process and tips for submitters in a previous edition of News from the Top.

Sharing ideas has never been so important, so I hope you’ll leverage the power of IDA in your town or city and contribute your own best practices when the time comes.