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International Downtown Association and Stantec enter multi-year partnership

Team to create new Downtown Vitality Index

The International Downtown Association (IDA) is delighted to announce its new strategic partnership with the Urban Places team at global design firm Stantec. The two organizations are teaming to further advance the industry and highlight the value of downtowns for place management organizations.

The partnership will build and expand upon current research related to successful urban revitalization programs and apply the data towards the development of the first Downtown Vitality Index. This annual index will score urban districts and center cities on key economic, social, and environmental factors of downtown vitality using the new data standards and methodology that have been collaboratively developed over the last year among IDA, 13 pilot cities, and Stantec.

IDA and Stantec’s Urban Places team’s research agenda includes collecting data to quantify and qualify urban districts as places. The initial phase of the study, to be released in December, incorporates information from 13 downtowns from across the United States. Stantec served as an advisor on the report, The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities. A second study of 10 additional downtown areas will take place over 2018. 

These reports will highlight unique and impactful contributions of downtown areas, using 100+ key data points related to economy, inclusion, vibrancy, identity, resiliency, and safety.

The information from both downtown studies will inform development of a new “Downtown Vitality Index.” This novel tool will standardize the value of downtown as a place for a range of stakeholders; create a useful set of tools for replicable, data-driven measurement; and define a baseline for assessment of progress and peer comparison.

“I couldn’t imagine joining forces with a more thoughtful, innovative, and collaborative firm,” says David Downey, CAE, Assoc. AIA, President and CEO of IDA. “Stantec’s Urban Places team provides professional expertise, a global depth of experience, and motivated practitioners to help make IDA’s research vision a reality. It’s going to be exciting to accelerate our progress with the support of Stantec.”

Joe Geller is a Vice President and Director of Stantec’s Urban Places team. “We are thrilled to be working alongside IDA as a forward-thinking strategic partner. The research and new index will be a valuable tool for IDA membership, including public officials, developers, and owners involved with city building. We anticipate great interest in this tool that, for the first time, will allow cities to measure their vitality along accepted and standard criteria and identify measures for continued improvement. We applaud the IDA for their proactive approach to assisting their membership.”

IDA thanks Stantec for supporting the place management industry by investing in research and thought leadership with their commitment. This partnership will strengthen and empower IDA and its members.

The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities complete report will be released in December 2017 and the new methodology and data standards will serve as a tool IDA continues to offer to members.

About International Downtown Association
The International Downtown Association is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are 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

About Stantec
We're active members of the communities we serve. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

The Stantec community unites approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across 6 continents. Our work—engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, construction services, project management, and project economics, from initial project concept and planning through to design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, decommissioning, and remediation—begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships.

Stantec’s Urban Places team is an interdisciplinary hub within the firm bringing together leaders in planning and urban design, smart mobility, resilience, development, mixed-use architecture, smart cities, and brownfield redevelopment. We work in downtowns across North America—in cities and suburbs alike—to unlock the extraordinary urban promise of enhanced livability, equity, and resilience. Learn more at

Allison Shashok
(202) 798-5926

Marti Mueller
(585) 319-3052

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