2011 Project Awards Program

The APA County Planning Division (CPD) and the National Association of County Planners (NACP) are pleased to announce the opening of their 2011 Project Awards Program application cycle. This program provides them the opportunity to recognize outstanding planning projects from counties around the country at the APA CPD/NACP annual business meeting in Boston at the APA National Conference. The program provides members with the chance to see and learn about development, conservation, government, or environmental projects, where planning has had a positive impact on the outcome. Judges will be looking for innovativeness and quality, and the potential for use in other areas.

Awards of Excellence and Merit

Eligible planning projects are those completed within the last two years. An awards application should include an electronic copy of the planning document, a summary of the project, and responses to the awards judging criteria. Each member of the Awards Committee must receive an award application by February 25, 2011. Incomplete applications or those not received by each juror by the deadline will not be considered. Addresses for each of this year’s Jurors are listed below. The Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit will be presented to the recipients at the APA CPD/NACP annual business meeting in Boston at the APA National Conference, Sunday, April 10, 2011. The jurors make the distinction between Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit based on scoring and other factors.

Projects must fall under one of the following categories:

Planning Project Award: To a specific planning project conducted by a county that is in the process of being constructed or has been constructed within the last two years.

Best Practices Award: For a specific planning tool, practice, program, project, or process that is a significant advancement to specific elements of planning. This category emphasizes results and demonstrates how innovative and state-of-the-art planning methods and practices helped to implement a plan. Nominations may include such things as regulations and codes, tax policies or initiatives, growth management or design guidelines, transferable development rights program, land acquisition efforts, public/private partnerships, applications of technology, handbooks, or efforts to foster greater participation in community planning.

Grassroots Initiative Award: For an initiative that illustrates how a community utilized the planning process to address a need that extends beyond the traditional scope of planning. Emphasis is placed on the success of planning in new or different settings. Nominated projects should expand public understanding of the planning process. This could include such efforts as community policing or drug prevention, neighborhood outreach initiatives, programs designed for special populations, rural development, public art or cultural efforts, community festivals, environmental or conservation initiatives, summer recreational initiatives for children, or focused tourism ventures.

Small Area/Special Area Planning Award: This award will go to a small area/special area plan, program, design, or related effort that demonstrates innovative planning principles and measures that create sustainable communities that have lasting value.

Nominations will be evaluated for the award category in which they are submitted. However, the Awards Committee may upon majority vote move a nomination to a different category, if appropriate. Only one Award of Excellence and one Award of Merit may be granted per category each year. If the Awards Committee finds that none of the nominations in a particular category meets the desirable standards, they may grant no award in that category for that year.

A Complete Award Package must include the Following Documents:

  1. The planning document or project submitted on CD or provided by a webpage link.
  2. A brief description of the project, including the setting, time frame, significance to the planning field, innovations in theory, methodology and/or practice and other unique aspects to the application.
  3. A brief discussion demonstrating how the project meets the following criteria:
    • Innovation – Introduction of an original concept or a refinement of an existing technique or procedure.
    • Transferability – Potential applicability in other areas of the state or to other planning projects.
    • Quality – Excellence of analysis, writing, graphics and character of presentation.
    • Implementation – Effectiveness of the work – i.e. proposals have been carried out or show promise of being carried out in the near future.
    • Comprehensiveness – Planning principles have been observed, especially in considering a project’s effects on other public objectives and the surrounding environment.
      Responses to items 2 and 3 should total no more than four pages.
  4. A 2-3 sentence project summary to be used for the award handout at the annual business meeting.
  5. At least four graphics or images (jpg format) that illustrate the planning area or project that is being submitted.
  6. Name, address, daytime telephone, email, and FAX numbers of the person(s) to contact regarding the application: project author(s), and project client.
  7. Application fee: Free for members of the APA CPD and/or NACP. Non-members must submit either $50 for an award application or $35 for membership in NACP, payable to NACP and mailed to Tim Brown at the address below. Please notate the project name on the check.

A complete award package must be received by each juror either by regular mail or electronic mail no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, February 25, 2011 (no exceptions). Please direct any questions about the awards program to Tim Brown, Chair, Awards Committee at (334) 615-3416 or by email to twbrown@dothan.org.