Project Awards

2019 Project Awards Program

American Planning Association, Florida Chapter

Deadline: May 1  |  Students: May 10

APA Florida is pleased to announce the opening of its 2019 Project Awards Program application cycle.  This program provides APA Florida the opportunity to recognize outstanding planning projects in the State of Florida at its annual conference.  The program provides APA Florida 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.  The Project Awards Committee will be looking for innovativeness and quality, and the potential for use in other areas.




(Will download as a Word doc.)

Awards of Excellence and Merit

Eligible planning projects are those completed within the last two years in Florida.  An awards application should be in electronic format (flashdrive or CD) and include a copy of the planning document and a completed application form. The APA Florida Chapter Office must receive an award application by Wednesday, May 1, 2019.  (Student Project Award applications are due by May 10.)  Incomplete applications or those not received in the APA Florida Chapter office by the deadline will not be considered.  Space permitting, award recipients may have the opportunity to display their projects at the APA Florida Annual Conference in Sandestin,  September 10-13, 2019. The award recipients will be notified by early July of their selection. Those selected for an Award of Excellence will be requested to provide a short video for the awards ceremony.  The Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit will be presented to the recipients at the opening morning session, Wednesday, September 11, 2019.


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.  Generally, only one Award of Excellence and one Award of Merit are 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 opt not to grant an award in that category for that year.  The jurors make the distinction between Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit based on several factors including scoring, innovation, superior quality, transferability, and other factors.


Projects must fall under one of the following seven categories:

Planning Project Award for a specific physical planning project of unusually high merit that is in the process of being constructed or has been constructed within the last two years. The project should demonstrate “on-the-ground” results that are supported by documentable physical or social change. Examples include streetscape plans; public space plans; hospital, college or other campus plan.


Comprehensive Plan Award for a comprehensive plan, or individual element, of unusually high merit completed and adopted by the public agency within the last two years for, by, or within a jurisdiction with the most recent BEBR official population estimate of 50,000 or more (Large Jurisdiction) or of less than 50,000 (Small Jurisdiction)


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 ordinances, regulations, legislation, adopted policy 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.


Examples include regulations and codes, tax policies or initiatives, growth management or design guidelines, transferable development rights programs, land acquisition efforts, public-private partnerships, applications of technology, handbooks, or efforts that 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, public art or cultural efforts, community festivals, environmental or conservation initiatives, summer recreational initiatives for children, or focused tourism ventures.


Neighborhood Planning Award for a neighborhood plan, program, design, or related effort that demonstrates innovative planning principles and measures that creates sustainable neighborhoods that have lasting value.


Innovation in Planning for All Ages Award for a project, program, or campaign that emphasizes innovative planning in meeting the needs of the 50+ population and demonstrates how communities can become better places for people of all ages.


Nominations may include such things as affordable housing options, home modification resources, pedestrian infrastructure, transportation programs which increase senior mobility and safety, innovative park projects that foster accessibility to older adults, active aging projects fostering intergenerational and multi-cultural connection and socialization, and project design that promote wellness and active aging. This award is sponsored by AARP Florida.


Outstanding Student Project Award to recognize outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students in accredited planning programs in Florida that contribute to advances in the field of planning. While it is appropriate to submit a project or paper on which a faculty member(s) has given guidance, the submission should be primarily the work of the students.


Award of Merit – Comprehensive Plan (Large) Ludlam Trail Corridor District

Award of Merit – Planning Project Paw Park Village

Award of Merit – Best Practices William Burgess Overlay District

Award of Merit – Neighborhood Planning

Award of Merit – Comprehensive Plan (Small) City of Venice

Award of Merit – Best Practices
South Florida Avenue (SR 37) Complete Street Charrette and Master Plan

Award of Merit – Best Practices Connect City Plan & Land Development Code

Award of Merit – Grassroot Initiatives Smokey Hollow Barbershop

Award of Merit – Student Project MPO Policy & Planning Guidance for Transit Applications of Automated Vehicles (FSU)