Independence has been recognized both locally and nationally for its downtown revitalization efforts and innovative solutions to difficult community problems. Awards include:
2012 Playful City USA - A national award honoring cities and towns that make play a priority and use innovative programs to get children active, playing, and healthy. Independence is the only Playful City USA honoree in Oregon.
2011 Preserve America Community - A national award recognizing communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.
2011 Oregon Main Street Award for Downtown Revitalization - A statewide award recognizing projects that help revitalize downtowns and make them the active centers of a community.
2008 Finalist for the All America City Award - A national award honoring outstanding civic accomplishments. Each community must demonstrate innovation, inclusiveness, civic engagement, and cross sector collaboration by describing successful efforts to address pressing local challenges.
2008 DEQ Brownfield Redevelopment Award - A statewide award recognizing innovative redevelopment projects that clean up brownfield sites and get them back into productive use. The City won for it's new library, which was built on a downtown brownfield.
2007 Great Strides Award from the Northwest Area Foundation - This regional award is given to communities in 8 western states to reward communities who continue to go above and beyond in their poverty-reduction efforts.