April 8, 2013

2013 National Planning Awards

CHICAGO — The American Planning Association (APA) honors comprehensive planning efforts and inspiring individuals with its 2013 National Planning Excellence and Achievement Awards.

APA’s national awards program, the profession’s highest honor, is a proud tradition established more than 50 years ago to recognize outstanding community plans, planning programs and initiatives, public education efforts, and individuals for their leadership on planning issues. These efforts help create communities of lasting value throughout the country – and the world.

Eighteen recipients were selected to receive APA’s National Planning Excellence Awards and 12 recipients were selected to receive Achievement Awards. The award recipients consisting of planning firms, civic organizations, municipalities, and individuals will be recognized during APA’s National Planning Conference Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, in Chicago.

More information about the awards may be found at www.planning.org/awards.

2013 National Planning Excellence Award Recipients

Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan
2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan: A Vision for Northwest Indiana
Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties
The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) developed the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan that focuses on transportation, land use, human and economic resources and environmental policy objectives that covers three Indiana counties.

The HUD Secretary’s Opportunity and Empowerment Award
Owe’neh Bupingeh Preservation Plan
Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico
The Ohkay Owingeh is the first Pueblo tribe to develop a preservation plan that guides practical housing improvements according to cultural values. The Owe’neh Bupingeh Rehabilitation Project is a multi-year, affordable housing, rehabilitation project within the core of the tribe’s historic village center. 

The HUD Secretary’s Opportunity and Empowerment Award
Restoring the American City: Augusta’s Laney Walker/ Bethlehem
Augusta, Georgia
The Laney Walker/Bethlehem Revitalization Initiative involves two historic African American neighborhoods and is a pioneering effort to reverse decades of blight and disinvestment and regenerate nearly 1,100 acres of Augusta's urban center.

National Planning Excellence Award for a Best Practice
Philadelphia’s Integrated Planning and Zoning Process
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia City Planning Commission's (PCPC) integrated Planning and Zoning Process is an innovative approach to leveraging the synergy between citizen education, planning, and zoning reform. The PCPC coordinated three distinct planning activities — the Citizens Planning Institute (CPI), Philadelphia2035 (the city's comprehensive plan) and a new zoning code and map revision.

National Planning Excellence Award for a Grassroots Initiative
Cathedral City’s Environmental Conservation Division (ECD) Kids and Community Program
Cathedral City, California
The Environmental Conservation Division (ECD) Kids & Community Program is an environmental education and awareness project where young people conceptualize, design, plan and create hands-on environmental projects that help reduce landfill waste and beautify the landscape of Cathedral City.

National Planning Excellence Award for Implementation
Central Riverfront Re-birth through Planning
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio
The Cincinnati Riverfront Plan converted 195 acres of a vast wasteland, between the Ohio River and Cincinnati's Central Business District, into an economically successful and vital, mixed-use development.

National Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach
Newberg 6th Grade Design Star Program
Newberg, Oregon
The Design Star Program is a learning collaboration between the City of Newberg and local sixth grade students that has engaged students in city planning. Students create a development proposal for one of two vacant sites within the city and present their proposals to the class. Winning proposals are presented to city staff and elected officials.

National Planning Excellence Award for a Communications Initiative
We Love Lake Oswego Video
City of Lake Oswego, Oregon
The City of Lake Oswego created the "We Love Lake Oswego" video as part of its public outreach effort to educate and engage the community in the comprehensive planning process.

National Planning Excellence Award for Transportation
StarMetro’s Route Decentralization
Tallahassee, Florida
For years, StarMetro operated a hub-and-spoke transit system that brought all passengers to one central transfer location downtown. The new transit system reduced transfers at the downtown terminal by 30 percent; decreased total transfers system-wide by 14 percent; decreased the number of routes that share at least one mile of service from 21 to two and increased ridership by 21 percent in December 2011.

National Planning Excellence Award for Environmental Planning
NYC Department of City Planning, Zone Green
New York, New York
Zone Green is an initiative to modernize regulations for greener buildings. It is a coordinated package of zoning amendments, city legislation, and state legislation that promotes the construction and retrofitting of greener buildings.

National Planning Excellence Award for Urban Design
Lancaster Central Market: Assessments, Guidelines, and Recommendations for Preservation and Development
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
The guidelines were created after a comprehensive study of the Lancaster Central Market that connected the importance of architectural preservation, urban development history, and cultural heritage, to present planning and development decisions.

The Pierre L’Enfant International Planning Award
The Valsequillo Initiative
Puebla, Mexico
The Valsequillo Initiative is a planning effort not only to improve the quality of urban areas growing around the Valsequillo Reservoir and increase opportunities for area residents and remediate decades of environmental degradation, but it also aimed to unify urban and environmental planning for the first time.

Advancing Diversity and Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff
YWCA Central Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
YWCA Central Alabama created the YWoodlawn Plan, a collaborative multimillion-dollar initiative to reduce poverty and homelessness within an underserved area of Birmingham through introducing affordable housing, educational and employment social services.

National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Advocate
Michael Osur, Deputy Director, Riverside County Department of Public Health
Riverside, California 
Under Michael Osur's leadership, the Riverside County Department of Public Health set a strategic goal of addressing the built environment and quality of life issues by focusing on the connection between community design and public health as it relates to physical activity, healthy eating, and injury prevention.

National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Firm
Goody Clancy
Boston, Massachusetts
Goody Clancy is an interdisciplinary architecture, planning, and preservation firm that over five decades of exceptional work has drawn inspiration from a commitment to creating sustainable communities defined by social equity, economic opportunity, and environmental responsibility.

National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Agency
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Northeastern Illinois
CMAP is the regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will, and is responsible for producing the region's comprehensive plan. CMAP's GO TO 2040 regional comprehensive plan is designed to help seven counties and 284 municipalities coordinate policies and investment decisions.

National Planning Excellence Award for an Emerging Planning and Design Firm
Interface Studio LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Founded in 2004, Interface Studio LLC is a full-service planning and urban design practice. The firm has had tremendous success with their approach to public dialog and design, which is graphic, grassroots-driven, and interactive, and garners support for and among the communities with which they work.

National Planning Award for a Planning Pioneer
Ronald Shiffman, FAICP
Brooklyn, New York
During Ronald Shiffman's 50 years as a city planner, he has provided program and organizational development assistance to community-based groups in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. His development of the model for community development corporations is a direct result of this groundbreaking work in the 1960s to rebuild Bedford-Stuyvesant through economic development programs.

2013 National Planning Achievement Award Winners   

National Planning Achievement Award for a Best Practice
Model Design Manual for Living Streets
Los Angeles, California
The Model Design Manual for Living Streets is a development plan for Los Angeles that will provide guidance for replacing existing road standard manuals with updated techniques and concepts. This is one of the first street models that will focus on streets in a general way including landscaping, mobility, design, and the public involvement process.

National Planning Achievement Award for a Best Practice
Seattle Healthy Living Assessment Tool
Seattle, Washington
Seattle's Neighborhood Planning team developed the Health Living Assessment (HLA) to consider health prior to beginning a planning process. The plan features an overall health-based "framework for planning," 16 health indicators that identify linkages between health and the physical environment, and inclusive engagement tools.

National Planning Achievement Award for Innovation in Economic Planning and Development
Energize Clinton County, Clinton County Regional Planning
Clinton County, Ohio
The economic crisis took its toll on Clinton County with nearly 9,000 citizens losing their jobs. The Clinton County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) collaborated with Energize Clinton County and began to focus on local business, young professionals, local food, energy, and visioning. Taking a holistic approach, the planning commission addressed all five issues as a collaborative effort.

National Planning Achievement Award for Innovation in Economic Planning and Development
Crystal City Sector Plan
Arlington, County, Virginia
After nearly 40 years, the Arlington County Board in Virginia passed a pioneering plan that allows the use of economic analysis for planning purposes, specifically targeting the study of demolishing and replacing major commercial buildings. The plan will transform Crystal City — which due to the BRAC 2005 round was projected to experience 3.2 million square feet of office vacancies and nearly 13,000 job losses — into a 40-year plan that will result in 20,000 new jobs and 14,000 new residents.

National Planning Achievement Award for Innovation on Economic planning and Development
SKIA Subarea Plan for Eco-Industrial Center
Bremerton, Washington
The City has implemented a plan advocating and encouraging economic development and environmental stewardship. Adhering to the eco-industrial approach, the plan attempts to facilitate the growth of mutually dependent industries that boost economic development enhancing environmental stewardship.

National Planning Achievement Award for Environmental Planning
San Pablo General Plan Health Element
San Pablo, California
The San Pablo City Council added a new Health Element to the city's 2030 General Plan Update, the first of its kind throughout the entire state. The role of the plan, which is to realistically and achievably put people and their health first, focuses on factors such as behaviors and lifestyles, income, education, employment and working conditions, access to health services, nutrition, and the quality of physical environments.

National Planning Achievement Award for Implementation
Making Complete Streets a Reality in New Jersey
New Jersey Department of Transportation
Considered a Pedestrian Safety Focus State by FHWA, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has undertaken a Complete Streets initiative to improve the overall safety and mobility of pedestrians, cyclists, and transit passengers.Through outreach, training, and planning and designing the transportation infrastructure, the Complete Streets initiative signals a transformational variation in the culture of, and practice of roadway design, and user accommodation in New Jersey.

The Pierre L’Enfant International Planning Achievement Award
Urban Renewal Brisbane-20 Years
Brisbane, Australia
Australia's longest running urban renewal program — and one of the country's most successful — the Urban Renewal Brisbane (URB) has managed to transform rundown and forgotten spaces into developed and flourishing mixed neighborhoods for the past 20 years.Through an integrated process of stakeholder engagement, detailed planning, program development and implementation, URB has succeeded in bringing economic life and vitality back to Brisbane's inner-city.

National Planning Achievement Award for Public Outreach
Legacy 2030 Plan Public Outreach and Involvement
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, North Carolina
The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Planning Department in North Carolina wanted to allow their citizens more access and input into the updating of their comprehensive plan and used a multi-pronged approach that included a film series, music video, meetings, and an interactive website.Through these efforts the department encouraged citizens to participate in the comprehensive plan update.

National Planning Achievement Award for Public Outreach
Minnesota’s Mississippi River Trail Bikeway
Minnesota Department of Transportation
The Mississippi River Trail is nearly 800 miles, passes through approximately 70 cities, 20 counties, 90 townships and two reservation and tribal lands. In 2010, the Minnesota Department of Transportation convened and worked collaboratively with stakeholders to establish, market, and create bicycle friendly communities along the 800 mile route.The idea behind the trail bikeway was to enhance quality of life and promote economic development.

National Planning Achievement Award for Transportation Planning
Seeger Transportation Planning
Ames, Iowa
Noticing that communities were having a difficult time creating a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Christopher J. Seeger, developed the innovative, participatory I-WALK process to help communities identify and collect information on all of the steps involved in a simpler way.

National Planning Achievement Award for Urban Design
Waterfront Seattle Concept Design and Framework Plan
Seattle, Washington
The Concept Design and Framework Plan for Seattle's Central Waterfront is a roadmap for reconnecting central Seattle to Elliott Bay. The Concept Design implements Seattle's Comprehensive Plan and plans for the Downtown, Pioneer Square, and Belltown — all of which prioritize waterfront access.


Roberta Rewers, APA Public Affairs; 312-786-6395; rrewers@planning.org