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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 29, 2020
CHICAGO—The International Downtown Association (IDA) recognized Chicago Loop Alliance with the Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence for its program ACTIVATE, a series of pop-up celebrations that bring life to unexpected spaces in the Loop. Launched by Chicago Loop Alliance in 2013, these free events give the public a chance to interact with local art, music and performance and take part in transforming urban environments. Playful, authentic, sometimes bizarre and always surprising — this is not your average street festival.
IDA tasked a jury of peer professionals to review, deliberate and evaluate all entries in the 2020 Downtown Achievement Awards. The Award of Excellence acknowledges an excellent response to an industry challenge demonstrating application of prosperous and inclusive place management and exceeds the jury criteria.
ACTIVATE was among 29 qualified entries in the category of Public Space Management and Operations which IDA identifies as one of the seven professional urban place management practice areas. This category features unique organizational approaches and projects in the areas of clean, safe and hospitality, placemaking and activation and facilities management.
“We are thrilled to receive this award from IDA, the premier association for downtown management organizations like Chicago Loop Alliance,” said Kalindi Parikh, Chicago Loop Alliance Director of Planning. “ACTIVATE is diverse and inclusive by design, and we are proud we’ve been able to create a program that makes a wide variety of residents from 74 Chicagoland ZIP codes feel welcome. When we say the Loop is ‘Everyone’s Neighborhood,’ programs like ACTIVATE show that we mean it. While the nature of ACTIVATE—which involves thousands of people gathering in tight spaces like alleys to enjoy art, music, performances and refreshments—led us to cancel the series this year due to COVID-19, we look forward to bringing the program back when it is safe to do so.”
Since its inception, ACTIVATE has engendered its nearly 10,000 yearly attendees with a sense of community and a feeling of agency of what public spaces look like in the Loop. This community has continuously grown, with one-third of attendees reporting they have been to five or more ACTIVATE events, and another one-third reporting they are first-timers. Eighty-five percent of attendees surveyed reported a positive change in their view of the Loop. Chicago Loop Alliance estimated ACTIVATED has created $3.1 million in economic impact from 2013-2019.
“Chicago Loop Alliance has shown expert application of professional urban place management principles with ACTIVATE,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “ACTIVATE should serve as a model example to all member communities within IDA.”
Washington, DC-based IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Chicago Loop Alliance is the urban place management organization representing the interests of property owners in the Chicago Loop.
About Chicago Loop Alliance
Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA)’s mission is to create, manage and promote high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. CLA is a membership organization as well as the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015, and the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation produces public art projects and events. For more information, please visit www.loopchicago.com.
The International Downtown Association is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit downtown.org.
IDA Media Contact:
Director of Membership & Marketing
International Downtown Association