Outstanding Use of Technology in Planning Awards

Deadline: March 15, 2011

Technology Division Award nomination form (pdf)

The Technology Division of the American Planning Association will be issuing the following awards at the 2011 National APA Conference in Boston, MA.


Open to APA members and non-members in the U.S. Any plan, project, program, process, report, paper etc must have been published, implemented, or completed within two years of the date of submission.

Nominators must assign each submission to one category. No changes will be allowed after the submission deadline. The jury may move a submission from one category to another.
Members of the Technology Division Awards Committee are not eligible to enter, to be nominated, or to receive awards.

  • Category 1Best Use of Technology to Improve a Plan or Planning Process
    This category recognizes an organization for the creative use of technology in improving planning processes. Examples may include technology in subdivision approval, urban design, or comprehensive planning.

  • Category 2Best Use of Technology for Public Participation
    This category recognizes an organization for the best use of technology to enhance public involvement and participation in planning and decision making processes.

  • Category 3Best Use of Technology for a University Urban and Regional Planning Program
    This category recognizes an accredited university planning program for the most effective use of teaching with technology in preparing future planners for professional work. This can include the work of a single class or the use of technology to benefit all students in the program.

  • Category 4Best Paper on Technology in Planning
    This category recognizes a student for an outstanding paper on the use of technology in planning. Papers must have been originally written by a single author for a class in a planning program in a US college or university. Master’s theses, terminal professional reports, and student group projects are not eligible. Papers may be no more than 20 pages long, including references. Tables, maps, and other diagrams may supplement the 20 pages of text, but not exceed five pages. Papers must be typed and double-spaced with margins of at least 1 inch and 12-point font.

Criteria for all Technology Division Awards

Originality/Innovation — Document how your entry presents a visionary approach or innovative concept to address agency or customer needs. Explain how the use of the planning process in this context broadened the use of technology within the context of the local situation.

Transferability — Illustrate how the entry has potential application for others and how application of your entry's components and methodology would further the cause of good planning.

Quality — Winning entries will represent excellence of thought, analysis, writing and graphics throughout the nomination, regardless of budgetary limitations. Indicate how available resources were used in a thoughtful and ethical process.

Comprehensiveness — Specify how planning principles have been observed, especially in consideration of your entry's effects on other public objectives. Identify to what extent your entry includes elements important to the local community.

Role of Planners — Clarify the role, significance and participation of the planner; for instance, how in-house staff and consultants worked together. Demonstrate the connection between the success of this effort and increased awareness of planners and the planning process. (Category 4 submissions do not need to address this item).

Effectiveness/Results — State how your entry addressed the need or problem that prompted its initiation. Be explicit about how the results have made a difference in the lives of the people affected. Convey the level of effectiveness your entry could have over time.

At least one, but no more than five, one-page letter(s) in support of the entry. The letter(s) should offer support for the value of the nominated effort and may not be written by the nominator of the submission, by the nominated individual or by anyone who directly worked on the project.

Information about the winners will be posted to the Technology Division website.


The following attachments are mandatory.

Submissions lacking these attachments will not be considered.

1. 2011 Technology Division Award nomination form.

2. A two-page explanation demonstrating how the submission meets the criteria for technology division awards.

3. At least one, but not more than five, one-page letter(s) in support of the entry.

4. A set of digital images (.jpg) with a brief narrative for each numbered image may be submitted as appropriate.

For additional information contact Harsh Prakash at harsh@gisblog.org.


Judging for Technology Division Awards will take place by March 31, 2011. Jurors are under no obligation to grant an award in any category or may select to move a nomination to a different category. Nominators of submissions will be notified by March 31, 2011. Official announcements of submissions receiving awards will be made after all nominators have been notified.

Award Recognition

: Award recipients will be recognized at Technology Business Meeting at APA's National Planning Conference in Boston, MA. Technology Division award recipients receive a personalized certificate. Each award recipient will be profiled in Planning & Technology Today newsletter and on Technology Division website. The winner selected for Category 4 Best Paper will receive a $500 scholarship.

Previous winners