Excellence in Sustainability Awards

7th Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability

The Awards for Excellence in Sustainability is an annual program that honors projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations dedicated to supporting sustainable communities. Each year, the award winners are announced during the annual National Planning Conference.

APA-SCD is excited to announce that the nomination period for the 2020 Awards is now open!

Deadline: January 18, 2020

2020 AWARD DEADLINE: Entries are accepted November 9, 2019, through 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

INFORMATION PACKET: Available for download


  • All entry nominations will be submitted via this web form.
  • You must fill out the form all at once (i.e., you cannot save and come back).
  • We suggest you utilize this Word document to prepare the text that you will need to provide prior to starting the form.
  • If you submit the form once and would like to re-submit before the end of the nomination period, please feel free to do so. If there are multiple entries for the same effort, the jury will review only the most recently-completed submission.


We will be hosting two webinars to discuss the awards and showcase some of the 2019 award winners. The first webinar will be offered Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 1:00 – 1:45 PM ET. The second webinar will be offered Friday, December 6, 2019, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET. Please join us!

We will keep track of any FAQs and process updates on this page. If you have questions, please send an email to the Awards Coordinator at jenniferk@rhiplaces.com.

Sign up using the form below to receive award updates and reminders (you will not be added to any other lists, and this list will be discarded at the end of the nomination period). If you prefer, you can email the awards coordinator to be added to the list.

Previous Winners

2019 Winners

Community Sustainability or Resilience Plan

Cleveland Climate Action Plan: Building Thriving and Resilient Neighborhoods for All

City of Cleveland, Mayor's Office of Sustainability, 2018 (Cleveland, Ohio)

Sustainable Urban Design Plan or Development Project

Breathe Easy: Millvale Air Quality Planning

evolve environment::architecture (Millvale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania)

Sustainable Park, Recreation, or Open Space Plan or Project

Los Angeles County Master Plan for Sustainable Parks and Recreation: Phase I

Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (County of Los Angeles, California)

Sustainable Green Infrastructure Plan or Project

Envision Shooks Run

City of Colorado Springs and Felsburg Holt & Ullevig (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Sustainable Policy, Law, or Tool

Building a Better Norfolk: A Zoning Ordinance for the 21st Century

City of Norfolk (Norfolk, Virginia)

Leadership in Sustainability

Center for Communities by Design, American Institute of Architects

Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Program (Washington, DC)

2018 Winners

Community Sustainability or Resilience Plan

City of Hermosa Beach, PLAN Hermosa — The City of Hermosa Beach's Integrated General Plan and Local Coastal Program

City of Hermosa Beach, California

State or Regional Sustainability or Resilience Plan

Thurston Regional Planning Council, Thurston Climate Adaptation Plan: Climate Resilience Actions for Thurston County and South Puget Sound

Olympia, Washington

Sustainable Policy, Law, or Tool

San Francisco Planning Department & San Francisco Department of the Environment, Better Roofs Ordinance

San Francisco

Sustainable Urban Design Plan or Development Project

City of Meriden, Meriden 2020: A Comprehensive Plan for Downtown Meriden

Meriden, Connecticut

Sustainable Park, Recreation, or Open Space Project

City of Miramar, Miramar Fruit & Vegetable Garden

Miramar, Florida

Sustainable Transportation Project

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro Expo Line Phase 2

Los Angeles County, California

Sustainable Green Infrastructure Project

Capital Region Water, Community Greening Plan: A Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan for Harrisburg

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Leadership in Sustainability

Environmental Compliance & Sustainability Department, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Los Angeles County, California

2017 Winners

Sustainability or Resilience Plan or Project

Millvale EcoDistrict Pivot Plan — evolveEA

Millvale, Pennsylvania

Sustainable Urban Design Plan or Development Project

South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan — City of Austin Planning and Zoning Department Urban Design Division

Austin, Texas

Sustainable Transportation Project

Kansas City Downtown Streetcar — HDR

Kansas City, Missouri

Sustainable Park, Recreation, or Open Space Project

Lindsay Street Park — The Conservation Fund

Atlanta, Georgia

Leadership in Sustainability

Maryland Sustainable Communities Program — Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Division of Neighborhood Revitalization

Baltimore, Maryland

2016 Winners

Sustainable Building Project Award

Buenos Aires City Government, New Government House

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sustainable Park, Recreation, or Open Space Project Award

Amigos de los Rios, Emerald Necklace Plan Phase 2

Los Angeles, California United States

Sustainable Policy, Law or Plan Award

Measuring the Sustainability Performance of New Development in Brampton, Richmond Hill, and Vaughn

Cities of Brampton, Vaughan, and Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

Sustainable Development Project

Denver Regional Transit District, Denver Union Station

Denver Colorado, United States

Green Infrastructure or Transportation Project

City of Tualatin/Cardno, Tualatin River Greenway Shared Use Path

Tualatin, Oregon, United States

Sustainable Urban Design, or Preservation Plan or Project

City of Alexandria/Smith GroupJJR, Eisenhower West

Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Leadership in Sustainability

Sustainable Jersey

New Jersey, United States

2015 Winners

Emerging Leaders' Sustainable Plan or Project Award

Urban and Economic Transformation of Residential Areas Case Studies: Queens, New York City and Donja Dubrava, Zagreb, Croatia author: Andrea Maria Jandricek, University of Zagreb. Academic Advisers for the thesis included: Prof. Nenad Lipovac and Prof. Ljubomir Miščević from the Faculty of Architecture; Prof. Ljubo Jurčić and Prof. Josip Tica of the Faculty of Economics and Business; and Prof. Emeritus Gary Hack of MIT and the University of Pennsylvania and Prof. Yu-Hung Hong of MIT as independent consultants.

Green Infrastructure Project Award

Pendleton Multi-Way Boulevard and Green Infrastructure Project; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Cascade Design Collaborative

Leadership in Sustainability Award

City of Austin Neighborhood Partnering Program; Austin, Texas. City of Austin

Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Open Space Project Award

Crystal Springs Creek Habitat Restoration Project; Portland Oregon. City of Portland - Bureau of Environmental Services

Sustainable Building Project Award

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Brock Environmental Center, Annapolis Maryland. Smith Group JJR

Sustainable Development Project Award

Devens Sustainable Housing Pilot Project; Devens, Massachusetts. MassDevelopment Finance Agency

Sustainable Law, Policy or Plan Award

Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan; Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis and Shelby County

Sustainable Urban Design or Preservation Plan or Project Award

Scotts Run South Master Plan; Tysons Corner, Virginia. Steve Hahn, Smith Group JJR

2014 Winners

Sustainable Development Project

City of Lakewood, Colorado, for the Sustainable Neighborhoods Program + Network

Sustainable Building Project

Lemle & Wolff, Inc. in partnership with Design AIDD Architecture, Di Bari Engineering + The Daylight Savings Company for 812 E. 231ST Street, Bronx, NY

Sustainable Parks, Recreation + Open Space Project

21st Century Parks in partnership with Metro Parks, Future Fund Land Trust + Wallace, Roberts and Todd for The Parklands of Floyds Fork, Louisville Kentucky

Green Infrastructure Project

Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority in partnership with the City of Camden, Camden Redevelopment Agency, Heart of Camden + Center for Environmental Transformation for the Waterfront South Rain Gardens, Camden, New Jersey

Sustainable Plan Award

City of Austin, Texas, in partnership with Wallace, Roberts and Todd for Imagine Austin

Emerging Leaders' Sustainable Plan Award

University of Michigan — Yohan Chang, Ashlee Grace, Diego Horna Munoz, Katie Knapp, Megan McPhilimiy, Christian Rodman, Katy Ryan and Katie Wholey; students under the advisement of Larissa Larsen and Eric Dueweke for the Revising Toledo's Stormwater Credits Program.

Leadership in Sustainability Award

Wallace, Roberts + Todd