2024 Annual Awards for Excellence in Planning


Let's Celebrate Successful Planning and Showcase Your Projects!

Joint APA/PAW Award 

Call for Nominations 

Sponsored by:
The Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association and 
the Planning Association of Washington

The Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA WA) and the Planning Association of Washington (PAW) are pleased to announce the 2024 Awards Program.

For the 39th year, the associations will jointly honor outstanding contributions to the field of planning in Washington State. The award program’s goals are to recognize great planning efforts in our state, promote excellence in public and private sector planning and increase public awareness of the roles APA-WA and PAW play in supporting outstanding planning in Washington. 

Nomination Form
Applications must be received by 5:00 PM on Monday, July 15, 2024.
Awards will be presented at the 2024 APA WA Annual Conference in 

Bellevue, WA Bellevue Convention Center, October 16-18, 2024.

Celebrate successful planning and showcase your projects! 

2024 award winners will have their projects featured in the Western Planner Magazine, the Washington Chapter of the APA Newsletter and the PAW newsletter, as well as on each organization’s website.

I. Award Categories

Select the award category that best fits your project. Nominations should be made for one category only. Listing of one secondary/alternate category is permitted. Final determination of the most appropriate category will be made by the award jury. 

The award categories are as follows:

  • Students – Any project completed as part of an undergraduate or graduate program, including team efforts. Projects awarded in this category should demonstrate a positive contribution to the planning community.
  • Implementation – Examples of projects awarded in this category include site selection, site plans, constructed projects, project delivery or evaluation, capital improvement programs, shoreline management projects, projects linking planning and public health, and success in implementing Growth Management Act comprehensive planning.
  • Comprehensive Planning/Development Regulations-Large Cities & Counties – (Cities >40,000 population and Counties >60,000) Master plans, urban design standards or guidelines, comprehensive plans, downtown improvement plans, revitalization plans, historic preservation plans, natural resource plans, development codes, economic planning, strategic planning, etc.
  • Comprehensive Planning/Development Regulations-Small Cities & Counties -  (Cities < 40,000 population and Counties <60,000 population) Master plans, urban design standards or guidelines, comprehensive plans, downtown improvement plans, revitalization plans, historic preservation plans, natural resource plans, development codes, economic planning, strategic planning, etc.  This is a broad category that includes planning efforts underway across rural areas of Washington State, such as rural elements, natural resource land plans, subarea plans, and local areas of more intensive rural development (LAMIRDS).
  • Transportation Plans – Transportation planning, corridor studies, transit planning, non-motorized plans, pedestrian plans, and transportation demand management.
  • Community Involvement – Outreach, participation or education efforts related to planning programs or constructed projects, relationship and acceptance of community stakeholders; this includes projects working with special populations such as youth or communities not typically engaged in planning.
  • Sustainability – Creating and/or implementing plans, initiatives, programs, and projects related to sustainability and climate change.

II. Review Criteria:

The nominated plan or project must demonstrate how it meets the following criteria:

  • Outstanding application of planning principles: How the nominated plan or project not only meets but exceeds sound planning principles and practices?
  • Implementation of community values: How community values as contained within a planning document/vision statement, are reflected in the plan or project?
  • Contribution to specific planning technologies: How does the project use emerging technologies and/or techniques, and could it serve as a model or be applied by others in the planning profession?
  • Furtherance of GMA: How does the project advance the goals of the GMA?
  • Suitability of the solution to the problem or context: Does the project provide an appropriate approach to an issue? How well has it has been embraced or implemented by the community/client?
  • Innovative and/or creative solution or project, and demonstration of applicability to other projects: How does the project use a new or rarely used approach to solving a problem and how transferrable is this innovation to other planning scenarios?

Nominated projects must also comply with the following eligibility requirements:

  • Regional projects or plans that extend beyond Washington State may be eligible but must have a substantial nexus to planning in Washington.
  • All plans must have been completed, meaning a document has been finalized for formal consideration by local government (i.e., Planning Commissions, Councils or Commissioners) or has been adopted. 
  • For construction projects, improvements must be substantially completed by March 31, 2024.
  • For student projects, submittals must be completed as required by your degree program.

III. Submittal Process

  • Nominations shall be submitted electronically via the link provided. The nomination will be judged solely on the electronic submittal.
  • Submittals shall be a maximum of 12 single-sided 8 ½ ″ x 11” electronic document pages, minimum 11-point font. In addition, up to 5 letters of endorsement and up to 5 graphics as large as 11″ x 17″ in size may also be submitted. Submittals exceeding these page limits will not be considered.
  • Winning submittals will be retained for archival purposes and are subject to public disclosure.
  • The Awards Committee will attempt to notify applicants of the jury’s decisions on or before Friday, July 19, 2024.
  • Award recipients will be contacted by the award co-chairs for details on the awards ceremony, which will be held in-person during the APA Annual Conference in Bellevue, WA either October 16, 17 or 18, 2024.

The following information will be requested during the submission process.

  • Session Title
  • Session Description, including the objectives of the session
  • Short summary of session - limit of 150 words (for conference marketing)
  • Session Format (Point/Counterpoint, Panel Discussions, Moderated Debate, Interactive Workshops, etc.)
  • Proposed Session Length (Between 45-75 minutes) and if you would be willing to adjust the time of your session, depending on program needs (we may want an open field if someone needs more than 75 minutes for a mobile)

IV. Payment

Payment will be requested as part of the online submittal and may be made through the online form or by requesting an invoice. Payment is non-refundable.

Fees (per application):

  • Student Non-profit Organizations: $25.00
  • APA or PAW members: $150.00
  • Non-members: $200.00

Questions regarding payment should be directed to:

Pam Sefrino, Association Executive, APA-WA
2150 N 107th St, Suite 330
Seattle, WA 98133-9009
(206) 682-7436

Email: [email protected]

NOTE: Award nominations must be received by 5:00 PM on Monday, July 15, 2024. Late submittals will not be considered.

For more information about the sponsoring organizations, including membership, visit their websites:

American Planning Association: www.washington-apa.org
Planning Association of Washington: www.planningpaw.org

Our thanks to this year’s APA/PAW Awards Committee Co-Chairs:

From PAW:

Jonathan Kesler, AICP
Planning Manager
City of Medina
(425) 233-6416 
[email protected]

 From APA Washington:

Darby Galligan, AICP
Senior Planner
Planning and Community Development
City of Bellingham
(360) 778-8389
[email protected]

The past award winners are shown below.