PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The International Downtown Association has recognized Philadelphia’s Center City District as one of the recipients of its 2012 Downtown Merit Award.

The award winners were announced on September 24th.

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Specifically, the Center City District was touted for its $5.2 million renovations of the Sister Cities Park, located at 16th Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway. The now-thriving 1.3-acre city oasis was one of 22 qualified entries in the Public Space category, which focuses on improvements made to spaces that enhance the design, physical function or economic viability of a downtown area.

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David Downey, IDA President and CEO, called the park “a shining example of excellent downtown management that delivers real results,” according to, which is affiliated with PennPraxis, the clinical arm of the School of Design of the University of Pennsylvania.

The IDA’s Merit Awards are given annually, and winners are determined by the 550-member organization’s Awards Jury.

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