2016 National Planning Excellence Award: Planning Advocate

Ann Moore – Commissioner, Port of San Diego

San Diego, California


Recognizing that the Port of San Diego was planning reactively instead of proactively, Commissioner Ann Moore elected to spearhead or undertake an ambitious, multi-year planning program. Under Moore's leadership, the Port launched an integrated planning initiative to create a vision for the Port for the next 50 years.


Thirty years ago, a Port Master Plan was created to guide land-use for the 6,000 acres of land and water under the jurisdiction of the Port of San Diego. Port Commissioner Ann Moore was concerned that the Port was planning reactively, and that plan amendments were largely developer driven.

Moore spearheaded an ambitious multi-year effort to establish a framework for the Port's planning and development process. The Integrated Planning Initiative will set a 50-year vision for the agency. The goal is to ensure that the new vision for the waterfront balances the interests and priorities for the greater good. This initiative will ultimately result in an update to the Port Master Plan, the guiding land and water-use document for the Port's jurisdiction.


Port Commissioner Ann Moore.

Stakeholder and public engagement were priorities for the initiative, and key to the program's success. Moore advocated for a meaningful civic engagement process that included individual and group interviews, an online survey, workshops, and community open houses. Port-hosted tours of land and water areas helped participants gain multiple perspectives.

Moore emphasized that good planning generates a financial return on investment and delivers environmental benefits. Through the engagement efforts, divergent interests found a common understanding.


Moore was instrumental in guiding the process and in bringing together diverse interests. Aware of, and sensitive to, community concerns, she redirected the vision for the Port beyond the interests of five individual cities and individual development projects, to balance the varied interests of all users. Planners are empowered to balance commerce with economic and environmental impact, and growth of public realm spaces.

To date, this planning initiative has led to the formation of an Integrated Planning Vision. The Integrated Planning Vision was developed as a result of an extensive public engagement process, which resulted in the acceptance of the Vision Statement and Guiding Principles in August 2014 and the Framework Report in November 2015. This vision provides a strong foundation for the comprehensive update of the Port Master Plan.

Port Chairwoman Ann Moore participates with Congressman Scott Peters and Port Vice Chairman Bob Nelson in a news conference in 2013 at one of the Port's maritime cargo terminals, illustrating Moore's collaboration with federal agencies.