Sustainable Communities Division Urban Design & Preservation Division International Division

3rd Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability

Deadline: February 29, 2016

Honoring projects, plans, policies, individuals and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting and growing sustainable communities.

Representing a diverse range of experiences and industries but, possessing a shared attribute — a passion for sustainability and its rewards for our future, the American Planning Association Sustainable Communities Division (APA-SCD), in partnership with International (APA-I) and Urban Design and Preservation (APA-UDP) Divisions, proudly announces the Third Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability.

WHO + WHAT + WHY

The mature global economy has dramatically changed the economic base of most U.S. communities, leaving many formerly vibrant manufacturing regions with declining populations, fragile economies, and outdated  infrastructure. Add a host of serious environmental challenges, from freshwater depletion to global climate change, and a more diverse and complex energy future demand new thinking about how communities are planned, designed, and managed.

The need for leadership on comprehensive approaches to sustainability planning is growing. The APA Sustainable Communities Division's goal is to help planners engage in and collaborate on innovative approaches to this important emerging issue.

The APA-SCD supports planners who are committed to planning for sustainable communities by integrating all aspects of sustainability into our work through the combined economic, social, and ecological factors that shape our communities.

2016 marks the APA-SCD Third Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability. Similar to the 2nd annual awards they are being jointly conducted with the International and Urban Design and  Presentation Divisions.  

The 2016 Awards for Excellence in Sustainability categories include:

Sustainable Development Project Sustainable Building Project
Sustainable Park, Recreation or Open Space Project Green Infrastructure or Transportation Project
Sustainable Policy, Law or Plan Sustainable Urban Design or Preservation Plan or Project
Emerging Leader's Sustainability Plan or Project Leadership in Sustainability

WHEN + WHERE

The  Excellence in Sustainability Awards will be presented at the joint   Sustainable Communities   Division, International Division and Urban Design and Preservation Division reception on Sunday,  April 3 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. during the 2016 National Conference of the American Planning Association in Phoenix.

Award recipients will receive a formal award and be featured in the Sustainable Communities Division's newsletter and/or promotional materials, and will be honored on the APA-SCD webpage throughout the following year. The International Division and Urban Design and Preservation  Division anticipate promotion of the winners, as well.

ELIGIBILITY

What can be entered?

  • Any plan, project, program, tool, process, report, or ordinance entered must have been published, implemented, or completed within three years of the date of submission. Published drafts of plans are not acceptable.
  • Any plan, project, program, tool, process, report or ordinance may only be entered in one award category per award year.
  • Projects or plans may have occurred within the United States or internationally.

Nominations for the Leadership in Sustainability Award

  • Open to APA members and non-members.
  • An individual may not nominate himself/herself (the individual) for the Leadership in Sustainability Award, but an individual employed by the government, firm, or other organization, may nominate the entity in which they are employed.
  • Nominators may not be related by blood or marriage to any individual they wish to nominate.
  • Recipients (whether an individual, government, firm, or other organization) of the Leadership in Sustainability Award are ineligible to receive the same award for 10 years after accepting it.

Nominations for all other awards

  • Anyone working on a plan, project, program, tool, process, tool, report, or ordinance may nominate it for an award.
  • Members of the APA-SCD, Urban Design and Preservation and International Awards Jury, APA staff, APA Board of Directors, and AICP Commission are not eligible to nominate or to receive individual awards.
  • Any firm that employs APA members currently serving in national leadership positions is ineligible to be nominated.

AWARDS CRITERIA

Sustainable Development Project

This award honors efforts to create a sense of place, through sound land use and sustainable development, redevelopment or revitalization of a neighborhood or campus.

Examples of projects eligible for the Sustainable Development Project Award of Excellence may include but, not be limited to: mixed-use development projects, redevelopment projects, transportation, and community developments.

Sustainable development projects must include more than one building or structure and more than one lot or parcel. Individual building projects should apply for the Sustainable Building Project Award.

Originality + Innovation

  • Document how your sustainable development project is innovative and unique.
  • Explain how the use of the planning and development process in this context broadened sustainable planning and development principles.

Compatibility

  • Demonstrate how your sustainable development project integrates and supports the overall sustainable planning and development goals of the neighborhood, community and environment.
  • Describe how your entry has been integrated into other planning efforts.

Effectiveness + Results

  • Describe how your entry has made a difference in the lives of the people, place and environment affected.
  • Convey the level of effectiveness your entry has and can have over time.

Engagement

  • Explain how various interests were involved and the extent of that involvement.
  • Describe the level of collaboration between leadership and any competing interests.

Transferability

  • Explain how the sustainability aspects of your entry are transferable to development projects.
  • What aspects of your entry, if any, increase public awareness of sustainability planning.

Sustainable Building Project

This award honors an individual building project that utilizes green or sustainable principles in its construction, redevelopment or revitalization and operation.

Examples of projects eligible for the Sustainable Building Project Award of Excellence may include but, not be limited to: infill development projects, historic preservation projects, green building projects, building re-purposing or retro-fit projects.

Sustainable building projects are limited to a single building or structure on one lot or parcel. Multiple building projects should apply for the Sustainable Development Project Award.

Originality + Innovation

  • Document how your sustainable building project is unique and innovative.
  • Explain how the use of the planning and building process in this context broadened sustainable planning and building principles as it relates to the project.

Compatibility

  • Demonstrate how your entry integrates and supports the overall sustainable planning and building goals of the project.
  • Describe how your entry has been integrated into other planning efforts.

Effectiveness + Results

  • Describe how your entry has made a difference in the lives of the people, place and environment affected.
  • Convey the level of effectiveness your entry has and can have over time.

Engagement

  • Explain how various interests were involved and the extent of that involvement.
  • Describe the level of collaboration between leadership and competing interests.

Transferability

  • Explain how the sustainability aspects of your entry are transferable to other building projects.
  • What aspects of your entry, if any, increase public awareness for sustainability.

Sustainable Park, Recreation or Open Space Project

This award honors a park, recreation or open space project that utilizes green or sustainable principles in its planning, implementation or preservation and operation.

Examples of projects eligible for the Sustainable Park, Recreation or Open Space Award of Excellence may include but, not be limited to: farmland preservation efforts, viewshed and landscape preservation efforts, development of trail linkages, repurposing of floodplain lands into public parklands, revitalization of active recreation spaces utilizing green principles, revisioning of vacant or secondary places into park or recreation spaces, innovative programs that improve access to parks, recreation and open space facilities, public health projects focused on parks, recreation and/or open space.

Originality + Innovation

  • Document how your sustainable park, recreation or open space project is unique and innovative.
  • Explain how the use of the planning and implementation process in this context broadened sustainable planning and building principles as it relates to the project.

Compatibility

  • Demonstrate how your entry integrates and supports the overall sustainable planning and implementation goals of the project.
  • Describe how your entry has been integrated into other planning efforts.

Effectiveness + Results

  • Describe how your entry has made a difference in the lives of the people, place and environment affected.
  • Convey the level of effectiveness your entry has and can have over time.

Engagement

  • Explain how various interests were involved and the extent of that involvement.
  • Describe the level of collaboration between leadership and competing interests.

Transferability

  • Explain how the sustainability aspects of your entry are transferable to other parks, recreation or open space projects.
  • What aspects of your entry, if any, increase public awareness of sustainability.

Green Infrastructure or Transportation Project

This award honors a green infrastructure and/or transportation infrastructure project that utilizes sustainable principles in its planning, implementation or preservation and operation.

Examples of projects eligible for the Green Infrastructure and/or Transportation Project Award of Excellence may include but, not be limited to: stormwater management projects designed to improve water quality, sidewalk and pedestrian connectivity projects, cooperative multi-modal projects, transit facilities, road diet and green streets projects, cycling facility projects, not exclusively associated with parks, recreation or open space facilities, impervious to pervious surface transition projects.

Parks, recreation and open space projects should apply for the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Project Award of Excellence.

Originality + Innovation

  • Document how your green infrastructure and/or transportation project is unique and innovative.
  • Explain how the use of the planning and implementation process in this context broadened sustainable planning and construction principles as it relates to the project.

Compatibility

  • Demonstrate how your entry integrates and supports the overall sustainable planning and implementation goals of the project.
  • Describe how your entry has been integrated into other planning efforts.

Effectiveness + Results

  • Describe how your entry has made a difference in the lives of the people, place and environment affected.
  • Convey the level of effectiveness your entry has and can have over time.

Engagement

  • Explain how various interests were involved and the extent of that involvement.
  • Describe the level of collaboration between leadership and competing interests.

Transferability

  • Explain how the sustainability aspects of your entry are transferable to other infrastructure projects.
  • What aspects of your entry, if any, increase public awareness of sustainability planning.

Sustainable Urban Design or Preservation Plan or Project

This award honors an urban design or preservation project that utilizes sustainable principles in its planning and/or implementation.

Examples of projects eligible for the Sustainable Urban Design or Preservation Award of Excellence may include but, not be limited to: land development plan that exemplify green or sustainability principles, comprehensive suburban re-visioning plan that balances existing and new development in a multi-modal context, brownfield redevelopment project, historic neighborhood stabilization project, historic commercial district revitalization project.

Originality + Innovation

  • Document how your sustainable urban design or preservation plan or project is unique and innovative.
  • Explain how the use of the planning and implementation process in this context broadened sustainable planning principles as it relates to the project.

Compatibility

  • Demonstrate how your entry integrates and supports the overall sustainable planning and implementation goals of the project.
  • Describe how your entry has been integrated into other planning efforts.

Effectiveness + Results

  • Describe how your entry has made a difference in the lives of the people, place and environment affected.
  • Convey the level of effectiveness your entry has and can have over time.

Engagement

  • Explain how various interests were involved and the extent of that involvement.
  • Describe the level of collaboration between leadership and competing interests.

Transferability

  • Explain how the sustainability aspects of your entry are transferable to other policies, laws or plans.
  • What aspects of your entry, if any, increase public awareness of sustainability planning.

Sustainable Policy, Law or Plan

This award honors a policy, law or plan that utilizes sustainable principles in its planning and/or implementation.

Examples of projects eligible for the Sustainable Policy, Law or Plan Award of Excellence may include but, not be limited to: zoning codes and subdivision and land development ordinances that exemplify green or sustainability principles, comprehensive plans that balance existing and new development in context with the natural environment, neighborhood revitalization strategies, design guidelines, brownfield reuse plans, municipal, county or state laws that exemplify green or sustainable principles.

Originality + Innovation

  • Document how your sustainable policy, law or plan is unique and innovative.
  • Explain how the use of the planning and implementation process in this context broadened sustainable planning principles as it relates to the project.

Compatibility

  • Demonstrate how your entry integrates and supports the overall sustainable planning and implementation goals of the project.
  • Describe how your entry has been integrated into other planning efforts.

Effectiveness + Results

  • Describe how your entry has made a difference in the lives of the people, place and environment affected.
  • Convey the level of effectiveness your entry has and can have over time.

Engagement

  • Explain how various interests were involved and the extent of that involvement.
  • Describe the level of collaboration between leadership and competing interests.

Transferability

  • Explain how the sustainability aspects of your entry are transferable to other policies, laws or plans.
  • What aspects of your entry, if any, increase public awareness of sustainability planning.

Emerging Leaders' Sustainability Plan or Project

This award honors a student policy, law, plan or project that utilizes sustainable principles in its planning and/or implementation.

Emerging Leaders' Sustainability Plan or Project must have been completed while the student or students were actively enrolled in an academic institution.

Examples of projects eligible for the Emerging Leaders' Sustainability Plan or Project Award of Excellence may include any student developed plan or project within the categories of: sustainable development project, sustainable building project, sustainable park, recreation or open space project, green infrastructure project, sustainable policy, law or plan and demonstrate a commitment to sustainable, balanced and innovative future.

Originality + Innovation

  • Document how your sustainability plan or project is unique and innovative.
  • Explain how the use of the planning and implementation process in this context broadened sustainable planning principles as it relates to the plan or project.

Compatibility

  • Demonstrate how your entry integrates and supports the overall sustainable planning and implementation goals of the project.
  • Describe how your entry can be or has been integrated into other planning efforts.

Effectiveness + Results

  • Describe how your entry has made a difference in the lives of the people, place and environment affected.
  • Convey the level of effectiveness your entry has and can have over time.

Engagement

  • Explain how various interests were involved and the extent of that involvement.
  • Describe the level of collaboration between leadership and competing interests.

Transferability

  • Explain how the sustainability aspects of your entry are transferable to other policies, laws or plans.
  • What aspects of your entry, if any, increase public awareness of sustainability planning.

Leadership in Sustainability

The Leadership in Sustainability Award of Excellence honors individuals, governments, firms and organizations whose vision, leadership and commitment have been fundamental to the evolution of sustainability planning, and have helped improve awareness of the sustainability movement.

Eligible applicants for the Leadership in Sustainability award are true innovators and by their practice and professionalism inspire others, promote new techniques or technologies, collaboration among other disciplines, advances in practice, and progress in the art and science of sustainability planning.

Quality

  • Demonstrate consistent quality of the individual's, government's, firm's or organization's work and its recognition by the general public or those who practice or sponsor sustainability planning, teach planning, or develop sustainable communities.

Influence

  • Detail the individual's, government's, firm's or organization's positive influence on the direction and professional advancement of sustainability planning.
  • Identify the number of planners on staff and if any members hold specific certifications.

Innovation + Inspiration

  • Demonstrate innovation and originality in the planning and implementation of sustainability plans, policies and projects.

Outreach and Engagement

  • Demonstrate the individual's, government's, firm's or organization's efforts and skills in engaging stakeholders and resolving community conflicts with sustainable outcomes.
  • Demonstrate responsiveness to the community in the planning process and willingness to incorporate ideas and suggestions from the community.

SELECTION

Judging for the 2016 Excellence in Sustainability Awards will take place through the following process.

  • Jurors have the right to move an award nomination into a different category.
  • Jurors may select not to present an award in any category.
  • Contact with members of the jury to discuss an award nomination is prohibited. The jury may select up to one entry in each award category to receive an Excellence Award; with the exception of the Leadership in Sustainability category, where an unlimited number of entries may be awarded.

The Excellence in Sustainability Awards Jury will consist of leaders in the field of sustainability and will   be announced on Sunday April 3rd, 2016 at the joint APA-SCD, International Division and Urban Design and Preservation Division  Annual Reception (Location TBD).

ENTRY

The following submittal requirements are necessary to be eligible for an Excellence in Sustainability Award.

All entry nominations shall be submitted digitally. Entries will be accepted no later than 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Monday, February 29, 2016.

APPLICATION IS EASY.  PLEASE PLAN AHEAD.

Please email your application directly to Scott Turner, AICP at apascd@gmail.com.

  • Each application should be prepared as a single pdf not to exceed 10MB. Photographs or project graphics should be included in the single pdf and will be included as part of the 10MB limit. A minimum of three photographs or other graphics should be provided. Award winners may subsequently be asked to provide additional higher resolution photographs.
  • Each application should not exceed 20 pages in length, exclusive of photographs. In other words, photographs provided will not count against the 20 page limit.
  • Each application must include a written description of how the nomination meets or exceeds the criteria established for that specific awards category. The written description shall not exceed 1,000 words. Each application must also include a completed version of the form found on the following pages.
  • In the event that applicants are unable to convey applications electronically via email due to limitations in email size, please contact Scott Turner at apascd@gmail.com and we will provide an alternate means of transmitting applications.

Application materials will not be returned, and the applicant agrees to the use of application materials for information and promotional purposes by the American Planning Association Sustainable Communities Division, International Division and Urban Design and Preservation Division.

Questions should be directed via e-mail to apascd@gmail.com or to Scott Turner, AICP, 617-338-0063.

BEST OF LUCK!

Application form (pdf)