December 10, 2009

APA Announces 2010 Award Winners

Excellence, Achievement and Leadership Award Recipients Named

CHICAGO — The American Planning Association honors innovative planning efforts, planners, and advocates with the 2010 National Planning Excellence, Achievement, and Leadership 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.

Eleven award recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on April 12, 2010, during APA's National Planning Conference in New Orleans. The recipients also will be featured in the April 2010 issue of Planning magazine.

Read more about 2010 winners and view a slideshow

Award Winners

The Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan honors a comprehensive plan that advances the science and art of planning. The award honors America's most famous planner, Daniel Burnham, for his contributions to the planning profession and to a greater awareness of the benefits of good planning.

San Diego General Plan, San Diego, California

The City of San Diego General Plan sets out a long-range vision and policy framework for how the city should plan for growth, provide public services, and maintain the qualities that define San Diego. It was structured to work in concert with the city's 40-plus community plans and is part of a regional and statewide smart growth strategy.

National Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice is given for a specific planning tool, practice, program, project, or process that advances elements of planning.

Indianapolis Regional Center Design Guidelines, Indianapolis, Indiana

The design guidelines focus on the Regional Center, a 6.5-square-mile area that functions as the "downtown" for the City of Indianapolis. Hoping to maintain its reputation for well-designed urban spaces and achieve a more livable community, the guidelines provide a community standard for urban design. They support five design principles: mobility; health, safety, and opportunity; adaptability and sustainability; the public realm; and character and vitality.

National Planning Excellence Award for Implementation recognizes a project that demonstrates a significant achievement for an area — a single community or a region — in accomplishing positive changes as a result of planning. The award emphasizes long-term, measurable results that have been in continuous effect for a minimum of five years.

Campus Partners' University District Revitalization, Columbus, Ohio

Campus Partners is a university-led partnership that has succeeded in revitalizing the economically and racially diverse district around The Ohio State University. OSU formed Campus Partners in 1995 with an independent mission and board responsible to stakeholders beyond its university to address physical, social, and environmental issues facing an entire urban district with a population of 40,000.

National Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach recognizes an individual, project, or program that uses information and education about the value of planning and how planning improves a community's quality of life.

Wicker Park Bucktown Master Plan, Chicago, Illinois

Wicker Park and Bucktown (WPB), two Chicago neighborhoods facing rapid change, were at risk of losing their beloved "grittiness" and "edge."  The plan's outreach was tailored to fit WPB's personality using humorous attention-getting posters, videos, a photo suggestion box, and a do-it-yourself budgeting exercise that engaged residents in the planning process. The result was honest public input that yielded a comprehensive, unique, and high-quality master plan that reinforced the community's collective values and goals.

National Planning Excellence Award for Innovation in Best Practices for Sustainability recognizes sustainability efforts within a community that addresses environmental, social equity, and economic challenges.

Hilltop Hanover, A Westchester County Farm and Environmental Center, Westchester County, New York

Hilltop Hanover was previously a 180-acre dairy farm that was turned into a farm and environmental center to educate the residents of Westchester County about sustainable agriculture and environmentally sensitive practices. Acquisition of the old dairy farm also preserved open space and protected a public drinking water supply watershed. Programs offered at Hilltop Hanover are designed to expand awareness of the environmental impacts of human activity, offer alternatives to existing practices, and demonstrate practical methods for implementing new strategies.

National Planning Landmark Award recognizing a planning project, initiative, or endeavor that is historically significant and that may be used or accessed by the public.

Plan for the Valleys, Baltimore County, Maryland

In the early 1960s, the Green Spring and Worthington Valleys, a rural region of Baltimore County, Maryland, was facing intense urbanization pressure. The community had the foresight to realize that if uncontrolled, the growth would surely wipe out the historic character and natural amenity of the area. The Plan for the Valleys, prepared by WRT, is the first long-range development plan based on the application of principles of ecological determinism.

National Planning Achievement Award for a Hard-Won Victory recognizes a planning effort undertaken by a community, neighborhood, citizens group, or jurisdiction in the face of difficult, challenging, or adverse conditions.

New Orleans City Park — From Devastation to Recovery
New Orleans, Louisiana

Hurricane Katrina caused $43 million in damage to the 1,300-acre City Park — flooding the park with eight feet of water, destroying more than 2,000 trees, and damaging or destroying more than 120 buildings. The park's recently adopted master plan, Vision for the 21st Century, became the organizing feature for recovery efforts. The recovery plan focused on cleaning up debris, reopening revenue generating facilities, pursuing an ambitious public and private fund-raising effort, and using the new master plan to organize the recovery.

Advancing Diversity & Social Change (Paul Davidoff Award) honors a project, group, individual, or organization that promotes diversity and demonstrates a sustained social commitment to advocacy within the planning field or through planning practice.

Jane Clough-Riquelme, San Diego, California

As the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) tribal liaison, Jane Clough-Riquelme has been instrumental in facilitating the involvement of the 17 federally recognized tribal nations in the San Diego area in the regional planning process. Her work has resulted in the increased mobility of tribal communities through the creation of key institutional mechanisms for coordination in SANDAG, the development of a collaborative planning agenda, supporting RTA's pursuit of funding sources, and technical assistance in the implementation of tribal transportation projects involving multiple agencies for the benefit of all tribal nations in the region.

National Planning Leadership Award for a Planning Advocate recognizes an individual, appointed official, or elected official who has advanced or promoted the cause of planning in the public arena.

Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Constance M. Kepert, Farmingville, New York

A tireless supporter of planning, Brookhaven Town Councilwoman (District 4) Constance M. Kepert is a firm believer in the benefits planning can bring to all communities. She has supported and worked towards making high-quality planning a community and town priority as both an executive officer of civic organizations and as an elected official. Her efforts have illustrated that community-driven planning is the best way to provide vision for the future betterment of communities. She has empowered community members to trust in their ability to affect change and demand good planning.

National Planning Leadership Award for a Student Planner recognizes a student in the final year of a Planning Accrediation Board-approved planning program for outstanding achievement during the nominee's academic career in planning.

Taryn Hanano, San Jose State University, San Jose, California

Taryn Hanano has exemplified exceptional scholarship and ongoing commitment to advancing the visibility and recognition of the urban planning profession through her education and professional endeavors. As a full-time graduate student at San Jose State University's Urban and Regional Planning Department, Hanano has maintained an impressive GPA of 3.93, while working full time.

National Planning Leadership Award for a Distinguished Contribution recognizes an APA member who has contributed to the goals and objectives of the American Planning Association through an extraordinary effort over a short period of time.

William E. Borah, New Orleans, Louisiana

Land use planning in New Orleans has traditionally been described as "planning by surprise." On November 4, 2008, voters opted to change that by approving the Home Rule Charter Amendments, which require the city to prepare a master plan with the force of law. One of the main advocates for the amendments was William E. Borah, a New Orleans-based land use attorney and member of Smart Growth for Louisiana. Borah drafted the initial proposed charter amendment, sought comment from planning experts around the country, and organized a support campaign.


Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395;