2011 APA/PAW Award Recipients

Washington/Oregon APA Conference Presentation

October 21, 2011

The 2011 APA/PAW Awards Program culminated in the presentation of planning award winners at the Joint Washington/Oregon APA Planning Conference in Portland, Oregon, at an awards panel session. This year, nominations represented a wide variety of projects in five different categories, including Physical Plans, Sustainability, Transportation, Citizen Involvement, and Student Planning Projects. The joint APA/PAW awards panel jurors evaluated high caliber projects submitted earlier this year by the June 16, 2011, deadline, and the awards jury again used an online electronic review process, followed with a face-to-face meeting for discussion and final award selections. This was the third year for the electronic online review process, which has helped to standardize submittal materials, cut down on paper submittals, shorten review times, and overall streamline the jury review process. Further refinement of the submittal requirements will be considered for next year's 2012 awards program and will be announced by the end of the year in 2011 in preparation for the 2012 planning awards program, to be administered by the Planning Association of Washington (PAW).

For further information contact either of the Awards Committee Co-Chairs:

Richard Hart (APA) at rhart@ci.covington.wa.us and by phone at (253) 638-1110 or
Kelly Larimer (PAW) at Klarime@gcpud.org and by phone at (509) 260-0151.

This year's winners were announced and presented on Friday, October 21, 2011 at the Joint WA/OR APA State Planning Conference by the Washington & Oregon Chapters of the American Association in Portland, Oregon. The winners, with selected juror comments, include the following:

  1. Category: University Student Projects

    Winner—University of Washington-City of Seattle Bicycle Planning Best Practices & Count Methodology—Alon Bassok, UW Affiliate Assistant Professor and Senior Planner with the Puget Sound Regional Council, with participation of seven students in a graduate urban design studio, along with the Puget Sound Regional Council's bicycle planning efforts.

    "The project was well-tailored as to scope and outcome, and it has great applicability to GMA and its transportation planning goals. It contributes best practices and very innovative techniques that can be used by other cities who want to replicate similar bicycle planning counts & methodology as part of projects. The effort did an admirable job in framing bicycle issues into the larger transportation planning context, which often is a difficult task."

    Honorable Mention—Seattle University—Prism Light Reconnaissance Study—Marie Wong, Associate Professor of Urban Studies, College of Arts & Sciences, with participation of 15 students in a Community Design Workshop, along with the City of Seattle.

    "This study is a great inventory of resources that relate to positive pedestrian circulation goals within the planning process. The resource of light prisms involves an element of the urban streetscape that is often not recognized and sometimes overlooked as part of the fabric of the cityscape. Another important element of the project was the development of incentive programs to encourage private property owners to repair and replace this unique resource of prism light features as a part of the urban pedestrian walking experience"

  2. Category: Transportation Plans

    Winner—City of Oak Harbor—"Oak Harbor Pioneer Way Street Improvement: Greenroads Project".

    "The project effort strongly linked the Low Impact Development sustainability goals of the city with both street improvement projects and other planning and design goals. This was a well-defined use of the concept of sustainability in transportation improvements. It's also an outstanding effort in the use of planning resources in a small community. Being the first "Greenroads Project", it sets an example for other cities to follow. The coordination of the many utility improvements alone involved a monumental task in this planning effort. The project also responded superbly to the evaluation criteria of the awards program, and the City is to be commended for an outstanding submittal. This is a great example for other cities to follow."

  3. Category: Sustainability

    Winner Tacoma — Pierce County Health Department & The City of Puyallup—"South Hill Neighborhood Plan Health Impact Assessment".

    "This is a very creative approach to sustainability and advocates for inclusion and evaluating of health considerations in community planning & design. This kind of approach and effort is often on the cutting edge of projects and should be emphasized more in our profession. This is a great effort in connecting health with the outcomes of physical plans. Bringing health departments and sustainability goals into the community planning process is commendable and should be recognized. This effort definitely contains a methodology to be replicated in other communities who desire to include an analysis of the health impacts of physical planning."

  4. Category: Physical Plans

    Winner—City of Port Angeles—"Port Angeles Waterfront Transportation Improvement Plan".

    "This project was very creative all the way around and emphasized a 'sense of place' for the downtown. Linking the waterfront and its future economic vitality to the community planning process through transportation plans is critical. It also brought key goals of sustainability and strong citizen involvement into the planning process. Citizen participation was definitely one of the strongest points relating to the success of this project, and engaging a wide variety of the public to generate a large range of ideas was definitely commendable. The phasing plan for implementation and funding was also a strong point of this project. Jury members also liked the 'way-finding' element and the focus on collaboration with the arts community. Compliance with the review criteria was certainly a very strong point in favor of this project."

    Honorable Mention—City of Sequim—"City of Sequim Downtown Plan".

    "The planning project targeted "main street" and the important significance that downtowns play in a community's identity as well as the citizen perception of their quality of life. Developing policies that are clear and compact was critical to the project's success, and the graphics and maps used in the workshops were outstanding. The consultant team provided wonderful information as part of the public engagement process, which again was a definite strength of this project. Combining the form-based code approach with other design regulation elements was unique and will certainly provide the city staff, the public, and developers with a user-friendly method to implement the goals of the plan. The use of bonus features was also a very positive element of the plan. The proposed implementation measures had great clarity. Overall, it was a great piece of planning work for a unique small town with a different demographic."