National Planning Awards 2004

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, FAICP

Outstanding Planning Awards

Outstanding Planning Award for a Plan

Urban Design Framework for the Near Southeast
Washington, D.C.

For most of the past century, the banks of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., have been dominated by large industrial and governmental uses. Efforts to rehabilitate the area have stalled due to the lack of cooperation between the 18 federal agencies that had jurisdiction over the riverfront.

Confronting the challenge in 2000, Mayor Anthony Williams established the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative as a partnership between the District of Columbia and the federal agencies. Their goal: transform the city's forgotten riverfront into a D.C. gem.

The collaborative efforts of the mayor's initiative and dozens of neighborhood action meetings resulted in the Urban Design Framework.  The plan for a vibrant waterfront neighborhood includes 4,200 new housing units, 41 acres of open space, and over 14 million square feet of office and retail space.

Outstanding Planning Award for a Small Town or Rural Community

Farmersville General Plan
Farmersville, California

A small community in California's San Joaquin Valley, Farmersville is considered by the American Farmland Trust as the most threatened agricultural region in the country. Against a backdrop of high unemployment and low incomes, the Farmersville City Council undertook its General Plan update through the year 2025.

After more than two years of public involvement fostered by a successful word-of-mouth campaign, the city adopted policies that will maximize the efficient use of land. The general plan update uses innovative features and smart growth planning techniques, including an industrial area specific plan that addresses the community's high unemployment rate. The plan also calls for establishing a farmland impact fee that will be assessed against new development. Funds will be used to purchase agricultural easements on prime farmland outside the city's borders.

Outstanding Planning for a Program

Chesterfield Township TDR Program and Village Plan
Chesterfield Township, New Jersey

The farms, woodlands, and bucolic streams of Chesterfield Township, New Jersey, look nothing like images of America's most densely populated state.

But this 22-square mile municipality in southern New Jersey's rapidly suburbanizing Burlington County has come up with a strategy to preserve an agricultural past while accommodating a less pastoral, more populous future.

The Chesterfield Township program requires developments to be built within the 560-acre Old York Village receiving area use transfer of development rights credits from surrounding farmland. The Old York Village plan provides the framework for a new community of 1,300 housing units that will visually and otherwise complement the still mostly rural township.

Outstanding Planning for Implementation

Presidio Trust Management Plan
San Francisco, California

Once the nation's oldest military base, the Presidio was established as a national park in 1994. Two years later Congress established the Presidio Trust as a government corporation to operate the almost 1,200 interior acres and to use the park's building assets to fund the capital improvements.

Adopted in 2002, the Presidio Trust Management Plan seeks to balance preservation of resources with the need to generate revenue and meet the needs of the thousands of yearly park visitors. It calls for reducing square footage of building space, making about a third of building space available for public benefit uses, and developing environmentally sound transportation and infrastructure.
Since 1998, $138 million was invested to fund park improvements and operations of which $106 million was generated through the leasing of almost 750,000 square feet of rehabilitation non-residential space.

Outstanding Planning for a Special Community Initiative

Lower Town Neighborhood Plan/Artist Relocation Program
Paducah, Kentucky

For decades Lower Town, a neighborhood adjacent to downtown Paducah remained dilapidated. In 2002, however, after extensive neighborhood participation, Paducah's City Commission adopted a plan to redevelop the blighted areas through aggressive code enforcement, flexible zoning techniques, and protection of historical design.

An historical mixed-use zone was established so business and residential uses could occur in the same area. With financial incentives offered by the Paducah Bank, the city recruited 32 new artist-residents to the neighborhood. New art-related businesses began springing up and tourists started making trips to the area once thought unsafe.

Daniel Burnham Award

Chicago Metropolis 2020
Chicago, Illinois

The Metropolis Plan is the region's first integrated land use and transportation plan since Daniel Burnham's groundbreaking plan nearly 100 years ago. Proposals in Illinois for regional planning are regularly voted down by indifferent, or outright hostile, state and local legislators.

But Chicago Metropolis 2020 pioneered new techniques in public participation, modeling and scenario development to analyze the effects of current development practices and future alternatives. The group then tapped the creativity of more than 1,000 community leaders who participated in mapping workshops to create a common vision for the region and develop strategies for its realization.

AICP National Planning Landmarks Awards

Niagara Reservation State Park

By mid-1800's European settlers transformed the area surrounding Niagara Falls from a pristine wilderness to a site dominated by commercial and industrial development.

As early as 1834, it was suggested that the land near Niagara Falls be cleared of factories, hotels and signs so that the Falls could be viewed in a natural setting. The idea received little support until the famous novelist Henry James joined landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead to spearhead the effort to establish an international park at the site.

Their efforts eventually won the endorsement of New York Governor Grover Cleveland, who made the appropriation of lands for a state reservation and in 1885, the reservation became a state park, the oldest in the country. Its approximately 400 acres encompass Niagara Falls, the gorge, and the adjacent escarpment.

The park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, attracts some seven million visitors a year from all over the world.

Distinguished Leadership Awards

Elected Official

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D-Del.)

Shortly after assuming office, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner put sprawl at the top of her agenda. She issued Executive Order 14, requiring state agencies to review their policies and revise them to be consistent with her Livable Delaware plan that aimed to keep sprawl in check, reduce traffic congestion, and protect investment in roads, schools, and other infrastructure.

She also was instrumental in the passage of House Bill 255 that requires local jurisdictions to have comprehensive plans certified by the governor as meeting specific criteria and implemented through local ordinances within 18 months of their adoption. As a result nearly 90 percent of Delaware's local jurisdictions are in the process of updating or implementing comprehensive plans.

Professional Planner

Barbara Lukermann, FAICP

Barbara Lukermann's influence on the planning profession is remarkable. In 1978 she served on the committee that developed the first certification exam for the American Institute of Certified Planners. The following year she became the first chairperson for AICP.

A life-long resident of Minnesota, she has been appointed by the governor to bring her planning expertise to many influential boards. Nationally, she has worked on the National Academy of Sciences steering committee for the Cooperative Agreement with the Navajo Nation and internationally she has been a delegate for the Municipal Planning Board of China and a trainer for USAID environmental programs in Romania.

Lukermann has amassed more than 40 publication credits during her career and has shared that knowledge as an award-winning teacher at the University of Minnesota.

Citizen Planner

Andrea Mead Lawrence

Andrea Mead Lawrence has been a champion since the 1952 Olympics, where she made history as the only U.S. athlete to ever win two gold medals in ski racing at a single Olympics. Ever since, she has used her celebrity to champion planning and protection of the natural environment.

She helped found the Sierra Nevada Regional Initiative to enhance the quality of land use planning the Eastern Sierra region of California. From 1983 to 1999 she served as a Supervisor of Mono County, California, and represented the County before the U.S. Congress to win support for protection of the region's pristine wilderness.

Her leadership as founder of Friends of Mammoth, a citizen advocacy group opposing environmentally damaging development, led to one of California's most significant environmental planning lawsuits requiring the application of the California Environmental Quality Act on all private development in the state.

Student Planner

Michael Boettcher
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Michael Boettcher is among Wayne State University's top-performing students in the Master's Program in Urban Planning, all the while serving as a principal planner in the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department.

Boettcher's enquiries into the economic development implications of inter-modal freight terminals are contributing to local discussions on the revitalization of Detroit. Passionate about preserving and redeveloping the city, Boettcher helps organize cultural events and organizes historic building tours for Preservation Detroit and on his own.

He has also been active in organizing a network of current students and alumni through Wayne State's Student Urban Planners Group and has coordinated Planners Night Out, a monthly gathering of planners and those interested in urban development.

Current Topic Award: Parks and Public Land

Chambers Creek Properties Master Site Plan
Pierce County, Washington

With an estimated $70 million in proposed improvements and a conservative time line of 50 years, the Chambers Creek plan seeks the transformation of 930 acres from a working gravel mine into a first-rate public recreation facility.

The plan's implementation required a multi-jurisdictional approach that was aided by the formation of the Chambers Creek Foundation. The group of citizens advocated for the site plan and partnered with the county and involved cities on the plans implementation. The Foundation also assisted with important fundraising.

Using quality design standards, native plant restoration, and sustainable development practices, the project returned a virtual moonscape to biological productivity. Besides acres of open space, there are 10 miles of nature trails, two public piers, ball fields, and an arboretum.

National Social Advocacy Award (in honor of Paul Davidoff)

Lapham Park Venture
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Lapham Park, a low-income public housing development in Milwaukee, is the first assisted-living facility within a public housing development in the nation. More than 30 percent of its residents are over 70 years old and over 75 percent have a median annual income of less than $8,000.

Faced with an ever-shrinking pool of resources and a growing demand to meet the healthcare needs of elderly residents, stakeholders formed the Lapham Park Venture to bring together practitioners in planning, housing, gerontology and social services to provide on-site integrated care. The Housing Authority raised over $1.3 million in capital campaign to renovate the building's basement. The new clinical space includes exam rooms, a pharmacy, therapeutic bathing space, an exercise gym, and doctors' offices.

The results? Nursing home placements fell from five to less than two percent in a year and Lapham Park Venture is saving over $1 million annually in Medicaid nursing home costs.

Public Education Award

Reading the Land — Massachusetts Heritage Landscapes: A Guide to Identification and Protection
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

Important as buildings are, much of their value lies in their setting, their placement in a landscape, and their contribution to a shared memory. Many of the sites that establish community identity and history are cultural landscapes, the result of long periods of interaction of people and nature.

Reading the Land — Massachusetts Heritage Landscapes: A Guide to Identification and Protection explains what heritage landscapes are, and how they can be recognized, evaluated, and documented. It also explains how to develop public awareness of their importance, and what steps to take to protect them permanently.

National Women in Planning Award (in honor of Diana Donald)

Laura Johnson, Ph.D., MCIP, RPP

Throughout her long and distinguished career as a social planner and University of Waterloo planning professor, Laura Johnson has explored community support for employed women and their families.

Johnson's studies of child care services, alternative work environments, and family-friendly workplaces and communities have provided critical resources for advocates on behalf of women.
Her 2003 book, "The Co-Workplace," is a fascinating account of the historical perspective on home-based work. The book is beginning to change policies on parental leave and the availability of alternative work environments in Canada and around the world.

AICP President's Award

Planners Network
Ayse Yonder and Tim Angotti

For three decades, Planners Network has been a voice for progressive professionals and activists concerned with urban planning, and social and environmental justice. The Planners Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with an office in Brooklyn, New York, that through conferences, a website, and other program works to promote political and economic change.

The association is a diverse network made up of professionals, activists, academics and students who are involved in physical, social, economic, and environmental planning in urban and rural areas.

APA Distinguished Service Award

For substantial and sustained contributions to the American Planning Association's mission and development.

Connie B. Cooper, FAICP

Connie Cooper's commitment and leadership over the years almost define the award, for which she was the 2004 recipient. Twenty years ago she took office as president of the APA Alabama Chapter. In the years since, she has been chair of the Chapter Presidents Council, a member of the board of directors, and in 1991-93, its president. Since 2000 she has been president of the American Association of Consulting Planners.

Along the way Cooper has participated in many national planning conferences, served on committees and task forces, and authored a July 2002 PAS report on transportation impact fees and excise fees. Cooper has more than 28 years of experience in planning and community development and her activities in APA have shown her commitment and talent for bringing new people to the decision process.

Legislators of the Year

Senator John Warner (R-Va.)

In 2003, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved legislation to reauthorize the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). Sen. John Warner led the fight on behalf of good planning. He won a major increase in the resources for planning directed to metropolitan planning organizations. Warner persuaded his colleagues of the importance of more funding. The measure was narrowly adopted and surely would have gone down to defeat without his efforts.

Warner also promoted successful amendments to allocate a small percentage of Surface Transportation Program funds to address pollution runoff and fund storm water mitigation projects, increase spending for a new Safe Routes to School initiative, and improve highway safety.

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)

Sen. Barbara Mikulski has been an advocate for affordable housing, healthy neighborhoods, and livable communities for more than three decades. It was her resolve to protect Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood from plans to build a 16-lane highway through family businesses and homes that launched the former social worker's political career.

She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986 after serving 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Of  Sen. Mikulski's housing effort she is probably best known for creating and sponsoring the HOPE VI program, which aims to improve living conditions for residents of public housing by replacing neighborhoods containing distressed, high-rise with mixed-income and mixed-use homes and stores.

Representative Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.)

When Rep. Doug Bereuter, AICP, went to Congress in 1979, the Harvard-educated Nebraskan was the only certified planner then serving in in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2003 Rep. Bereuter announced his intention to retire at the end of that year's Congress. Through 25 years on Capitol Hill, he was a valued member of APA and AICP and a strong advocate for good planning in federal policy.

Rep. Bereuter played an integral role in shaping foreign and domestic policy, rising to senior leadership positions on both the International Relations and Financial Services committees. His background as a planner and educator is evident in his legislative accomplishments in housing, transportation, economic development, infrastructure and natural resources policy.

HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award

Jury for deliberations on the HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award given in collaboration with APA:

Manuel Ochoa, AICP, special assistant in the office of the assistant secretary for community planning at HUD
Dana Bres, acting director and research engineer in the affordable housing research and technology division
Marina Myhre, social analyst, both in the office of policy development and research

Wright-Dunbar Village Preservation and Redevelopment
Dayton, Ohio

The neighborhood in West Dayton was once a thriving African-American community. In the past 50 years, however, highway construction, civil disturbances, insurance redlining and disinvestments have devastated the area. In 1992, the determination of two small groups of ordinary citizens — one black and one white — became the catalyst for the most aggressive urban revitalization effort to occur in Dayton's black community. Long-term African-American homeowners and a group of aviation enthusiasts stood up to the city and initiated a chain of events that led to the Wright-Dunbar Village Preservation and Redevelopment project.

This unique undertaking coupled Dayton's aviation history with its African-American heritage to leverage over $75 million in economic and community development investments.

The reclamation includes the national park, restoration of the West Third Street business district, and construction in three adjacent neighborhoods of 190 houses for families at or below 80 percent of the median income for the area.

AICP Student Project Awards

In recognition of outstanding papers or class projects by a student or group of students from accredited planning programs. The AICP Student Project Awards Jury of 2004 was chaired by Frank Wein, FAICP.

Applied Research

Save Ammendorf!
Pratt Institute Graduate Center, New York, New York

Kate Zidar

Kate Zidar, a student at Pratt Institute Graduate Center, analyzed the Halle neighborhood of Ammendorf in the former East Germany to illustrate possible development scenarios for the area.

After documenting recent economic and social changes since reunification, Zidar narrated her findings for a public meeting attended by local building owners and covered by both print and electronic media. She showed how the ongoing adaptive reuse of the former factories for housing and small workshops point to the high likelihood of their conversion to live-work housing.

Applying the Planning Process

Towards a Smart Growth Master Plan: Assessment and Recommendations for the Town of Porter, New York
University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, Buffalo, New York

Advisor: Ute Lehrer

Students: Fina Abdel Latif, Brian Gatewood, Fredy Rodriquez Gutierrez, Amy Kacala, Joel Kleinberg, Hui-En (Grace) Lee, Nnabuihe Maduakolam, Karen Palmer, Seokhoon Shim, Brian Slack, Mark Territo, Katherine Wager, Robert Wisener, Ji Zhang

In 2002, the town of Porter, New York, approached the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the State University of New York, Buffalo, for assistance in developing the first part of a comprehensive plan. Fourteen graduate students took the challenge by analyzing the various characteristics of the community and formulating progressive strategies.

Porter (pop. 7,000) had two distinct population centers on opposite sides of the town. The eastern portion is largely agricultural, while the western portion is more industrial. Amidst this conflict, the town wished to retain its rural character and quality of life.

The students recommended methods to develop the local economy, in particular competitive ways of boosting agriculture and tourism. The also students suggested the further preservation of open space and farmlands for both the environmental and aesthetic values and economic vitality.

Contribution of Planning to Contemporary Issues

Integrating Transportation and Land Use Planning: Outreach to Planning Commissioners
University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

Advisor: Robert Parker, AICP

Students: Paul Bender, Carolyn Bonner, Jennifer Dill, Kathryn Frank, Bethany Johnson, Evan MacKenzie, John Mermin, Darren Muldoon, Tina Nunez, Michelle Pezley, Mike Rose, Paul Seilo, Rachel Warner

Raising the awareness of planning commissioners in Oregon on smart growth issues was the primary focus of the project by students at the University of Oregon, Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management.

They aimed to develop a model for successful dialogue with local government partners in the implementation of statewide transportation and land use planning goals and create model partnership between universities and state agencies.

To achieve their goals, the students developed written and visual materials, conducted 24 outreach workshops for local planning commissioners and elected officials on smart growth, and conducted informal interviews with professional planners.

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 2004 competition were:

Mary Bak, director of development and special counsel, village of Glenview, Illinois
Robert Cassidy, editor-in-chief,  Building Design & Construction
Phyllis Ellin, director of the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor Commission
Dennis Kasner, a principal, URS Corporation in Chicago
Charles Whitaker, director,  Academy of Alternative Journalism at the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.

Large Newspapers (circulation above 100,000)

Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado
Reporters: Lou Kilzer, Jerd Smith, Burt Hubbard, Deborah Farzier

After a six-month investigation, the Rocky Mountain News found that water levels in the Denver region were dropping fast, but that public officials were in denial about how quickly the water supplies were being used up.

After the paper published its series, "Running Dry," the area's water districts began to examine just how much water is available in the area's aquifers — and how much development it could support.

Headlines such as "Many wells could be useless in 10-20 years" grabbed readers' attention when the series was published in November 2003. Home buyers flocking to certain parts of the Denver metro area had been told that they could tap into a 100-year supply of water. The News made a compelling argument that the alleged 100-year supply was a fiction.

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

Bakersfield California, Bakersfield, California
Reporter: Matt Weiser

Noting that the Bakersfield region has the second dirtiest air in the nation, the two-day series of articles "Smog: a Growing Concern" explained that smart growth was the area's best, if not only, option for cleanup.

"Some say rapid urban growth is the new bad boy of smog and one of the last unregulated polluters," said one headline.

How to fight smog? Among the solutions the Bakersfield Californian examined were mass transit and revamping codes to allow higher density.

"The reporting was excellent," the judges said, "and the newspaper took the initiative by conducting reader polls. It also did a great presentation."

Small Newspapers (circulation under 50,000)

The Poughkeepsie Journal, Poughkeepsie, New York
Writer: John Penney

Editorial page editor John Penney wrote a five-part series of editorials based on his investigation of polluted water supplies in New York's Dutchess County. The series, called "Valley Water Under Siege," was published in July 2003.

In the course of his research, Penney visited homes contaminated by polluted water and examined state and local regulations. He found lax inspections and less than stringent wetland protection laws.

Penney offered some solutions: tougher inspections, consistent funding for cleanup programs, better buffer laws, and cooperative efforts among neighboring communities.

The Journal also won for a separate series called "The Valley Tomorrow."

Journal of the American Planning Association Award

In recognition of the best contribution during the year to the scholarly journal of APA.Richard Willson, AICP, headed the committee that selected the article.

"Road Expansion, Urban Growth, and Induced Travel: A Path Analysis," v. 69, 2003.
Robert Cervero

According to the judges, "The article challenges the popular notion that roadway expansions do not provide benefits because they are soon congested. The author unravels the relationships between capacity enhancement, travel demand, and urban development and concludes that past estimates of the magnitude of induced travel may have been overstated."