OAKLAND -- An international group has honored the city for its expanding tech and retail industries, public transportation and easy-to-use bike trails and walking paths in the downtown area.

The International Downtown Association, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes safe and healthy downtown areas in cities across the globe, has recognized the Downtown Oakland Association and the Lake Merritt/Uptown District Association for fostering business growth, including a wave of high-tech companies, nonprofit organizations, retail stores and restaurants that have opened downtown during the past year. The associations were also honored for improvements to bike paths and trails that have made downtown more walkable, and beautification projects that have cleaned up the area.

The Downtown Oakland Association and the Lake Merritt/Uptown District Associations will celebrate the award and discuss upcoming projects at an annual breakfast held 8 a.m.-9:30 am Thursday at the Kaiser Center Auditorium at 300 Lakeside Drive in Oakland.

Contact Heather Somerville at 925-977-8418. Follow her at Twitter.com/heathersomervil.