IDA Awards Top Industry Honor to Mpls Downtown Improvement District for Nicollet Activation

IDA Awards Top Industry Honor to Mpls Downtown Improvement District for Nicollet Activation

During its 65th Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Baltimore, MD, the International Downtown Association (IDA) recognized the Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID) with the Downtown Achievement Pinnacle Award for its work and initiatives related to activation work along Nicollet in downtown Minneapolis.

Each year, IDA recognizes outstanding projects as winners of the Downtown Achievement Awards which identify improvements to urban centers by dedicated organizations around the globe. The industry’s highest recognition, the Pinnacle Award, represents the most creative and inspiring innovations in urban place management. Activating Nicollet-A Street for All won in the category of Achievement Awards for Events and Programming.

“We are honored to receive the 2019 IDA award for events and programming in recognition of the work being done on Nicollet,” said Steve Cramer, President and CEO of the Mpls Downtown Improvement District. “We believe active streets are critically important to the vibrancy of a downtown community, and so helping enhance Nicollet with Activities and programming for all to enjoy continues to be an important element of our strategy moving forward.”

Activating Nicollet is a DID initiative aimed at providing programming that engages the downtown community, developing an inclusive range of cultural experiences for daily users and visitors, capitalizing on new public spaces and infrastructure built during the Nicollet renovation to draw people back to the street.

The DID works collaboratively with local community partners to develop and execute a variety of events and programs on Nicollet throughout the year. Initiatives include the Nicollet Makers Market, Street Show busking-style  performances, Theater in the Round comedy, dance and musical performances, and the Downtown Street Art Festival, as well as close coordination with the long-standing Nicollet Farmers Market.

An important element of the plan was the addition of dedicated activation staff, who work from a vacant storefront, the DID Satellite Pop-Up Office on 6th and Nicollet. From this publicly accessible space, DID collects comments and input on people’s downtown experiences, serves a public restroom, models an activated storefront (with routine games, greening and open houses), as well as connects with the DID Livability Team—a key partner in activation efforts—who provides links to resources and services for people facing challenges in downtown public spaces.

DID’s efforts aim to attract activities that support a vibrant Nicollet, organize activities that will continue to thrive, partner with organizations to expand the variety of Nicollet events, and find new ways to provide engaging programming for those who live, work, play and explore downtown.

Nicollet’s schedule of events and programming can be found at

“The Mpls DID’s innovative project received the IDA Pinnacle Award for setting the new standard for improving cities worldwide,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “Nicollet activation 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.”

Washington, DC-based IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. The Mpls DID is the urban place management organization representing the interests of property owners in downtown Minneapolis.

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 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

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