National Planning Awards 2001

Each year, the American Planning Association recognizes the plans, practices, people, and places that further the field of planning and help create communities of lasting value.
The National Planning Awards jury was chaired by Bruce Knight, AICP, planning director, Champaign, Illinois.

Outstanding Planning Awards

Outstanding Planning Award for a Project

Central Station
Memphis, Tennessee

In the early 1990s, the Memphis Area Transit Authority developed the plans for a multi-modal transit center that would support community revitalization, retain the integrity of an historic district and provide transportation links to private land development projects.

Today Memphis' Central Station is celebrating the realization of those goals. The refurbished historic landmark dating back to the early days of rail transit is now home to a luxury Amtrak train that runs from New Orleans to Chicago and makes two daily stops in Memphis. Besides becoming a catalyst for local redevelopment and historic preservation, Central Station serves as a charming meeting place and residential location.

Outstanding Planning Award for Implementation

Arlington Heights, Illinois

In 2001 the Village of Arlington Heights worked to put the finishing touches on a long-term comprehensive revitalization project that had already achieved major success in a once-deteriorating downtown. Between 1998 and 2001 there was $200 million invested in new development including 600 residential units, a major cinema complex and the development of the village's $4.7 million mixed-use train station. The success of the downtown is attributable to carrying out a central business master plan adopted in 1987.

Outstanding Planning Award for a Special Community Initiative

Oro Valley, Arizona

A generation ago, Oro Valley had only 2,000 people. Since 1975, however, the community has grown to 30,000. Local planners strove to proactively manage the wave of development through town ordinances and state laws, but three years ago the community realized that laws can only go so far.

Despite town and state laws protecting specific types of plants and trees, a lot of greenery was still going to the local dump. This wasteful practice inspired the creation of the Save-A-Plant program, a citizen initiative facilitated by planners. Since its founding, the program has rescued thousands of barrel cacti, prickly pear, and other types of native plants from the trash heap.

Outstanding Planning Award for a Plan

Biodiversity Project
Chicago, Illinois

During the past 20 years, the six counties closest to Chicago have experienced an unprecedented 35 percent increase in the area of developed land. The city also discovered that the same six counties contained the majority of land in a healthy, natural condition. The findings were the genesis of the first biodiversity recovery plan to be adopted by a major U.S. metropolitan planning agency.

Following three years of assessment by a coalition of more than 90 public and private groups, the plan specified goals including the provision of habitat greenways, the long-term viability of native plants and animals, the expansion of protected conservation areas, and the incorporation of the built environment with lakefront parks and forest preserves to ensure the continued opportunity for residents to experience nature.

AICP National Planning Landmarks Awards

The landmark designations honor places, programs, laws, and publications that are at least 25 years old and that have had a significant impact on planning in the U.S.
The five landmarks and two pioneers for 2001 were chosen by a jury chaired by Laurence C. Gerckens, FAICP

The Plan of Mariemont, Ohio

When Thomas J. Emery died in 1906, his widow, Mary Emery, undertook to erect a new town intended to serve as a national exemplar for suburban American and a permanent monument to her husband's memory.

Mary Emery engaged the services of John Nolen, Sr., whose proposal for Mariemont became the first plan for a new American town designed to operate as an automobile-accessed suburb for industrial workers. The 1922 plan provided for a broad range of incomes and lifestyles, preserved an extraordinary amount of green space and currently serves as an historic inspiration for neotraditional neighborhood design.

The Nine Square Plan of New Haven, Connecticut

Following the principles of ideal cities gleaned from the Bible, Minister John Davenport and merchant Theophilius Eaton laid out a new city in 1638 focused on a central square a half mile on a side, then subdivided into nine squares. The center square was reserved for religious and institutional use while the remaining eight areas were apportioned among the citizens.
This plan established the framework for the central-green, grid-street based village plan used by hundreds of newly settled towns across New York into New England and Ohio, and westward throughout the United States.

The Law of the Indies

Developed by the Spanish Crown to direct colonization in the New World, the Laws of the Indies contained instructions for site selection, financial and legal matters, the consideration of indigenous settlements, and the layout and construction of new towns. Issued by King Philip II in 1573, the laws included 148 ordinances, representing the most complete guide to European construction in the United States, and influencing the physical form of Spanish settlements from Florida and the Gulf Coast to Texas, across the Southwest and into California.

The Miami Valley (Ohio) Region's Fair Share Housing Plan of 1970

Known as the "Dayton Plan," Miami Valley's approach to providing affordable housing opportunities in each of five counties in the region became the first "fair share" housing plan in the nation, influencing housing planning in New Jersey and California, and the policies of the federal government.

No longer relegating affordable housing to a singular area within a central city, the plan called for dispersing low- and moderate-income housing on a regional basis, throughout 31 municipalities, and across suburbs and townships.

The Improvement of the Park System of the District of Columbia (The McMillan Plan)

The McMillan Commission was appointed by Sen. James McMillan and charged with updating Pierre L'Enfant's 1701 plan for Washington, D.C. The resulting 1902 plan included a regional park system and a central area plan that extended The Mall beyond the Washington Monument.

The open space was to be lined with museums of our national heritage, Capital Hill was to be bounded with facilities serving Congress, and sites were designated for the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. The Commission, referring to its work as "the nation's first comprehensive plan," generated enthusiasm for city planning and promoted carefully designed parks, public buildings, and spaces.

AICP National Planning Pioneer Awards

Planning pioneers have made major contributions to planning practice, education, or theory.

Planners for Equal Opportunity
New York

In May 1964 a group of community activists and city planners from New York assembled to discuss the growing number of African Americans and Puerto Ricans that were being adversely affected by poor housing conditions and rising rents. They organized themselves as Planners for Equal Opportunity, and challenged the planning profession to consider the unintended consequences of development programs on the poor and people of color. The organization educated the profession about the need for an ethical commitment to social justice, eventually drawing more than 600 dues-paying members.


In 1939 a group of young people seeking to have an impact on the future of the San Francisco Bay region formed Telesis, the first volunteer-based group to bring multiple fields together to work toward environmental development on a regional basis.

Telesis played a major role in the creation of the planning program at the University of California at Berkeley. They also spurred the launching of the Master Plan Program for the City and County of San Francisco

Distinguished Leadership Awards

Citizen Planner

Nancy K. Johnson

For more than 20 years, Nancy K. Johnson has been an active member of the community planning process in the City of Santa Maria and County of Santa Barbara, California. The incorporation of neotraditional community design elements, including front porches, plazas, fountains, pedestrian benches, decorative light fixtures and increased greenery, is often attributed to her suggestions.

Johnson's innovative thinking was instrumental in efforts to implement the first modern roundabouts in northern Santa Barbara County, constructed to improve traffic circulation, reduce accidents, and reduce the visual clutter of traffic signals.

Student Planner

Adam Thies
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

While making the Dean's List every semester of his undergraduate studies at Ball State University and landing a spot on the National Dean's List for his junior and senior years, Adam Thies was also leading planning workshops in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. In addition he built homes for Habitat for Humanity in Louisiana, coordinated Build-A-Thons for Americorps, and served as chair of the APA Student Representatives Council.

Current Topic Award: Transportation

Hollywood & Sandy Plan
Portland, Oregon

In 1998 planners, business people, and area residents began working together to improve the Hollywood District and Sandy Boulevard area in central northeast Portland. City of Portland staff, with community participation, developed a new land-use pattern to increase development potential for residential, commercial, and mixed uses, and to enhance the livability of the Hollywood and Sandy areas.

Transportation improvements focus on pedestrian safety, especially along Sandy Boulevard, a four-lane arterial, and along the primary walkways in Hollywood. The plan also seeks to maximize the public's investment in light rail and bus services and provide adequate parking.

Paul Davidoff Social Advocacy Award

Milagro de Ladera
Santa Barbara, California

In the Lower Westside area of Santa Barbara, California, 75 percent of the households earn less than 80 percent of the area median income and typically pay 50-80 percent of that towards housing. Many Westside residents live in dangerous overcrowded, sub-standard housing owned by disinterested absentee landlords.

To reclaim their neighborhood, one group of tenants and neighborhood residents joined forces with the city and the non-profit People's Self-Help Housing Group. Their efforts have brought about incredible changes and the residents of 322 Ladera barely recognize their old community. Crime is almost nonexistent, private investment has increased, and corrupt property managers have been ousted. Residents say it is as if a miracle occurred where they live, and have renamed the property "Milagro de Ladera."

Public Education Award

Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska

Local land-use planners who wanted to get residents of Anchorage interested in the future of their city launched a comprehensive outreach and communications campaign designed to incorporate residents' ideas and opinions into plans for the future. They enlisted hundreds of citizens, published numerous clip-and-send surveys in local newspapers, and held well-publicized focus groups, workshops, organized task forces and community meetings.

Ultimately their efforts resulted in the Anchorage 2020 — Anchorage Bowl Comprehensive Plan, which outlines future goals for the municipality as prescribed by the desires of its residents, who made educated decisions and selected preferences from clearly illustrated scenarios.

AICP President's Award

In recognition of an outstanding example of planning in an ethical professional manner.

Ann M. Esnard

As an assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, Ann-Margaret Esnard is practicing applied research in support of grassroots neighborhood organizations in the Ironbound District of Newark, the South Bronx, and Central Harlem.
She is helping students and community leaders use advanced Geographical Information Systems and other planning technologies to help solve critical environmental justice problems.

Distinguished Service Award

For efforts during a sustained period that contribute to the substantial development and mission of APA.

Dennis A. Gordon, FAICP

For nearly 15 years, the nation's largest organization of professional and citizen planners has benefited consistently from the work of Dennis Andrew Gordon. His leadership, willingness and determination to move the organization forward has helped to steadily raise APA's profile.
Gordon has chaired numerous task forces, committees and awards juries, led two state chapters as president; served on the Board of Directors; worked with Indiana General Assembly and congressional supports; and accepted a nomination to run for APA president.

Distinguished Contribution Award

For extraordinary effort that has contributed to the goals and objectives of APA.

California Planning Roundtable

For the past 20 years, more than 30 planners from throughout California have participated in the Roundtable and addressed a number of critical issues ranging from affordable housing to urban sprawl.

The Roundtable is built on the sustained voluntary commitment of individual planners to bring the highest level of efficiency to their trade and share their collective findings with the public at large.
The result is the creation of creative and intelligent solutions for important and unresolved planning issues facing the country's most-populated states. The dialogue is later summarized in reports, often referred to by elected officials, community activists, planners and developers as they undergo their own decision-making processes.

Legislators of the Year Awards

Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.)

Senator Lincoln Chafee's ambition to promote both natural resource conservation and the revitalization of urban America has led him to pursue key planning and livability initiatives in Congress. Tapped to fill the seat of his father, the late Sen. John Chafee, Sen. Lincoln Chafee used his seat as Chairman of the Superfund Subcommittee to lead the drive for bipartisan action on brownfields. He also was among the most prominent Republican voices in Congress opposing sweeping legislation designed to evade local land-use ordinances.

Prior to his election in November 2000, Chafee authored and introduced the Community Character Act, the first planning-specific bill considered in Congress in more than two decades, again demonstrating his commitment to smart growth and calling for federal assistance to encourage local innovation and greater support for planning.

Representative Melvin L. Watt (D-N.C.)

Since his election in 1992, Rep. Melvin Watt has been one of the planning profession's most ardent supporters. Rep. Watt has seen firsthand the explosive growth and consequences of sprawling development in his Charlotte area district and has made livability issues a hallmark of his tenure in the House.

A member of the House Livable Communities Task Force, Rep. Watt consistently has supported legislation promoting school modernization, land conservation, affordable housing, and urban reinvestment. He has been a staunch opponent of expanding regulatory takings legislation and the exemption of religion organizations from local zoning ordinances. Rep. Watt also has worked to gain support for revitalization efforts in Charlotte's West Boulevard Corridor Transitway and affordable housing strategies through a regional conference led by the Congressional Black Caucus.

AICP Student Project Awards

In recognition of outstanding papers or class projects by a student or group of students from accredited planning programs. Judges for the AICP Student Project Awards Jury were Dean Palos, AICP; Alfred N. Raby, AICP; Samuel J. Parker, Jr., AICP.

Applied Research

The Growth Management Toolbox: A Better Way to Live
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Students: Carrie Beach, Laura Everitt, Chris Galanty, Shannon Garvey, DJ Gerken, Brian Haluska, Porter Ingrum, Jim Lamey, Tianjin Luo, Rose-Anne McGrail, Jyothsna Ramesh, Jaymie Sheffield, Sean Suder, Melissa C. Tronquet, Suzanna Usak

Demonstrating the Contribution of Planning to Contemporary Issues

The Economic Development Plan for the Hopi Winslow Trust Property
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Students: Tripti Agarwal, Hilary Anderson, Peter A. Cherberg, Donovan Durband, Jennifer Greig, Matthew Keough, Susan I. Morrison, Tiffany C. Rich, Adam B. Smith, Lisa A. Verts, Jeffrey Wegener

This document presents a number of land use alternatives for the development of a 200 acre parcel of Hopi Trust Land outside Winslow, Arizona.

Applying the Planning Process

Future Land Use in the Town of Dryden: Alternatives & Recommendations
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Students: Julie Amato, Lawrence Bice, Karen Edelstein, Jessica Feldman, Tika Gurung, Ryan Harris, Danielle Hautaniemi, Bethany Johnson, Tim Logue, Juan Carlos Londono, Jonathan Martin, Mark Rodman, Megan Rupnik, David Whitley, Martha Wittosch, Yizaho Yang

APA Journalism Awards

In recognition of outstanding coverage of city and regional planning issues by newspapers in the United States and Canada.

Judges for the 2001 competition were:

Roberta Feldman, director of the City Design Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Andrew Herrmann, editorial writer for the Chicago Sun-Times
John McCarron, vice president of strategy and communications for the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago
Steve Rhodes, senior editor of Chicago magazine
Ted Wysocki, president and CEO of the Chicago Association of Neighborhood Development Organizations

Large Newspapers (circulation above 100,000)

The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, Florida
Writers: Ramsay Campbell, Sean Holton, Jim Leusner, Robert Sargent, Jr.

The newspaper's four-day series, "It Takes a Village to Raise a Fortune," examined the downside of Florida phenomenon called community development districts. The series explained what happens when private developers are given the power to issue tax-free bonds: Homeowners ultimately pick up the costs of infrastructure. The net result, according to the Sentinel, is that many homeowners in the state's 116 community development districts are stuck with assessments they knew nothing about.

Medium Newspapers (circulation between 50,000 and 100,000)

Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Massachusetts

The series title, "Crisis at Our Doorstep" put readers on notice that affordable housing should be a top priority in the Cape Cod region, a resort area where people of modest means are being squeezed out of the housing market. The series explained how individuals were affected by generally high housing prices and meager supply of affordable alternatives.

Among solution options that the newspaper explored were land trusts, affordable housing set-asides, taxes and accessory apartments.

Small Newspapers (circulation below 50,000)

Anderson Independent-Mail, Anderson, South Carolina

Like many communities around the country, Anderson, South Carolina, is coping with growth. "Plotting a Course," a six-day series, explored related issues as diverse as traffic jams, litter, and billboards. What attracted the judges to this particular entry was that the articles helped set a community agenda for improvement.

The city and surrounding Anderson County quickly took steps toward change. Zoning was adopted in portions of the county, county development standards were upgraded, and sign restrictions were adopted.

Journal of the American Planning Association Awards

In recognition of the best contribution during the year to the scholarly journal of APA. The Journal of the American Planning Association Awards judges were Thomas W. Sanchez and Israel Stollman, FAICP.

Philip Berke and Maria Manta Conroy
"Are we Planning for Sustainable Development? An Evaluation of 30 Comprehensive Plans," v. 66, no. 1

The winning article evaluates a sample of 30 comprehensive plans to determine how well their policies support sustainable development with respect to six principles that define and implement the concept of sustainable development.

American Society of Consulting Planners Awards

Sustainable Planning, A Multi-Service Assessment, 1999

Honorable Mention
Area Development Plan, Ramstein Air Base
Black and Veatch Special Projects Corp.

Honorable Mention
Army Family Housing Community Plan: Wurzberg and Kitzingen Germany Communitie
STV Incorporated

Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Awards

Christine Bae, Ph.D., University of Washington, and Lori Peckol, AICP
"Can Information Technology Enhance Planning Education? A Pilot Project Between the University of Washington and Washington State Professional Planners"

David Brower, AICP, University of North Carolina, Gavin Smith, and Darrin Punchard
"The North Carolina Hazard Mitigation Planning Initiative"

Richard Klosterman, Ph.D., University of Akron, and Uri Avin, FAICP
"The What If? Planning Support System"