The Downtown Blog

The official blog of Downtown Pittsburgh. Read up on what's new, what's happening, and what stories are being told in the neighborhood.


Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Awarded Top Industry Honor Recognizing Innovative Achievement in Urban Place Management

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The International Downtown Association (IDA) has recognized the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) with the Downtown Achievement Pinnacle Award for its work related to the Downtown Activation and Public Art Initiative. The initiative, which has been active since 2012, was created to enliven Downtown Pittsburgh through a diverse and engaging use of public art, creative placemaking, and entrepreneurship.

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.

During a comprehensive review, this year’s projects were awarded by a jury of IDA members in the following categories: leadership development; organizational management; economic development; marketing, communications and events; planning, design and infrastructure; policy and advocacy; and public space management and operations. The PDP’s Downtown Activation and Public Art Initiative won in the category of Marketing, Communications, and Events.

Dancers perform at World Square in 2019, a DAPA Initiative program

“I’m incredibly proud of the work accomplished by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership in creating such a dynamic Downtown community. The recent IDA recognition acknowledges the value of the PDP team, while also highlighting the community impact on a national stage,” said Lucas Piatt, President and COO of Millcraft Investments and Chair of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “Since launching the Downtown Activation and Public Art Initiative in 2012, the PDP has brought exciting and unexpected public art activations to life, created unique community events, and supported pop-up markets that showcase what a vibrant city center can mean for the entire Pittsburgh region.”

Notable projects launched through DAPA include Market Square Public Art, World Square, Rooftop Shindigs, the Urban Supper series, Night Markets, Yoga in the Square, and Dancing in the Square. Over time, the initiative has altered as programs originally launched as pop-ups have now transitioned into self-sustaining efforts, while others have supported new business concepts or the complete re-envisioning of public spaces.

DAPA projects have also engaged more than 180 local businesses and organizations as partners, including small businesses, local and international artists, the City of Pittsburgh, the Office of Public Art, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and more.

“We’re honored to have been recognized by the IDA for the success of our Downtown Activation and Public Art Initiative over the past eight years,” said Jeremy Waldrup, PDP President and CEO. “Through innovative programming ideas, pivotal partnerships within the community, and the commitment of our staff and board, the initiative’s events, activations, and installations have helped in creating a more vibrant Downtown Pittsburgh. We’re grateful for the continued support of our community, and look forward to continue working with our partners in bringing creative new ways to experience the neighborhood.”

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

“The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s innovative project received the IDA Pinnacle Award for setting the new standard for improving cities worldwide,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “The Downtown Activation and Public Art Initiative 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.”

The PDP’s Pinnacle Award was presented at the IDA’s virtual three-day conference, themed Forward Together, in which urban place professionals from around the world discussed topics facing Downtowns and city centers. For more information about the conference, please visit the event webpage.

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 2020 Downtown Achievement Awards are sponsored by Grow with Google. Additional information on the Pinnacle award winners can be found online at

Downtown Made Easy Guide

Downtown Shopping Guide

State of Downtown Pittsburgh Report

Downtown Map

© 2020 Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. All Rights Reserved. | Terms Of Use | Privacy Policy