Pennsylvania Chapter of APA 2007 Annual Award Winners

2007 Awards Ceremony

The Pennsylvania Chapter of APA recently held its Annual Awards Program at the Annual Conference. Congratulations to these winners:

Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan

Growing Together: A Comprehensive Plan for Central Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
  • Lancaster Inter-Municipal Committee
  • Lancaster County Planning Commission

Planning across political boundaries is always difficult. In Pennsylvania, regional and county comprehensive plans can help support this process, but it is up to local municipalities to do the nitty-gritty planning work. Eleven municipalities in central Lancaster County have taken on this difficult task, creating an excellent growth management guide for the booming Lancaster City metropolitan area.

Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice for a Project/Program/Tool

Regional Plan Implementation in Montgomery County
  • Montgomery County Planning Commission

Pennsylvania, unlike many parts of the country, is divided into many small traditional towns that often distrust their neighbors. Getting these communities to work on a plan together is difficult, and getting them to actually enact changes based on a joint plan is nearly impossible. Yet, through hard work and a lot of hand holding, Montgomery County has managed to get four regions to adopt a regional plan and enact intergovernmental cooperation agreements to implement these plans.

Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice for a Plan

Center City Residents’ Association Neighborhood Plan
  • Center City Residents’ Association, Philadelphia, PA

Downtown Philadelphia has come under significant development pressure for the construction of residential apartment buildings and condominiums. Because this new development hasn’t always fit into the existing urban fabric, the Center City Residents’ Association prepared a neighborhood plan that focuses on design guidelines. This excellent document clearly illustrates how new development should, and should not, be done in the downtown.

Planning Excellence Award for Implementation

Montgomery County Trail System
  • Montgomery County Board of Commissioners

Too often, excellent plans lie on a shelf unused. Montgomery County has followed up on a series of open space and comprehensive plans by creating a regional trail system that connects many of the county’s largest parks, greenways, and development centers. This 52-mile trail system was built through some heavily populated areas and has become one of the most popular destinations in the county. Another 13 miles will be completed by the end of 2007, and another 95 miles are currently planned for construction.

Student Project Award

Anchoring the Avenue: A Strategic Plan for City Avenue
  • University of Pennsylvania Master of City and Regional Planning Program, Workshop Project Team for City Avenue

The student project team conducted an in-depth analysis of a retail strip along City Avenue between St. Joseph’s University and the Bala Cynwyd office complex. Their in-depth study included retail market, susceptibility to change, and SWOT analyses. After considering three distinct alternatives, the plan concludes with a number of concrete and achievable recommendations.

Planning Leadership Award for a Citizen Planning Advocate

Ronald W. Weimer

Revitalization of Pennsylvania’s old steel towns is a difficult task. Ronald Weimer has worked tirelessly at this task, leading local efforts for regional planning, main street designation, and general revitalization. He has always understood that new development should be well designed, while some of his fellow citizens have been willing to settle for less. Ronald’s unselfish dedication has put Latrobe on a clear path towards sustainable revitalization.

Additionally, the following programs have been recognized by the Awards Committee, based on the merits of their programs:

Student Project Award

Envision Lancaster: Transformation and Rejuvenation in the County Core
  • University of Pennsylvania Master of City Planning Spring 2007 Planning Studio
  • Kise Straw & Kolodner Architects

Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach

Buy the Best, Zone the Rest: Building a Green Future
  • Heritage Conservancy
  • Montgomery County Lands Trust
  • Montgomery County Planning Commission
  • Natural Lands Trust

Planning Excellence Ward for Public Outreach

Envision Lancaster County Video
  • Lancaster County Planning Commission
  • S.R. Film & Video Productions