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2014 APA Colorado Chapter Award Winners

2014 APA Colorado Award Recipients

Crested Butte, CO--The APA Colorado Chapter continued its recognition of outstanding projects, plans and people of the planning profession during its annual conference at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Crested Butte, Colorado. Planning projects were honored on the basis of their innovation, ability to provide transferable lessons to other Colorado communities, excellent quality, promotion of community progress and the public good, effectiveness of implementation, and other unique factors that make these projects exemplary.

This year, out of seventeen applications received, the Awards Committee selected ten winners. The Honor Award is the highest level recognized by the Chapter.

This year’s winners were:
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Honor Award Winners

Student/Recent Graduate Project:  Re-Imagine I-70:  This project was chosen for an Honor Award because the plan addressed a challenging topic with rigorous analysis and innovative solutions. The Awards Committee appreciated that the plan was embraced or discussed by several coalitions, transcending the classroom. In addition to solving mobility issues, the plan is aimed at understanding urban design and economic implications. This approach represents the holistic approach desired of a planning project. The plan's graphic and narrative presentation communicates ideas clearly to a wide audience. This project demonstrates that students can play and important role in challenging conventional norms and the current state of transportation solutions.

Sustainability and Environmental Planning:  Town of Nederland Comprehensive Plan:  This plan was awarded an Honor Award because it uniquely addresses sustainability with innovation not typically found within Comprehensive Plans. The plans engagement process focused on what sustainability means to residents and the actionable elements of the plan are clear and enhance the likelihood that implementation will occur.

Community Engagement:  Boulder Civic Area: The Year of Collaboration:  This project was chosen for an Honor Award because the submission shows an extensive public process and explains new and low cost methods that are transferable to other communities. In particular, the Award Committee recognized the value of engaging all generations and partnership with the University. The project team’s commitment is evident through implementation and the plan received a high level of support for as expressed by the public and city leadership.

Innovation/Creative Partnerships and Collaborations:  Kaiser Permanente-- The Bike Depot:  The Bike Depot offers a great service and the creative approach taken to tailor this idea to the community was worthy of an Honor Award. The project brought together an array of financial and strategic support organizations along with community organizations and networks to create the Bike Depot.

Merit Award Winners

Sustainability and Environmental Planning:  Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan:  This project was chosen for a Merit Award because the focus on innovations to create a more healthy, livable community is evident throughout the plan. The stakeholder engagement process was clearly targeted to ensure representation of all members of the community and overcame many challenges to gain their input. The workshops are great examples of how to involve citizens in sustainability planning. The document expresses the vision with interesting graphics and writing that personalizes the effort. This plan can be shown to other communities as an example of how to encourage diversity and build on community
assents for planning future land uses.

Community Engagement:  Inspire Littleton:  The project was chosen for a Merit Award because the engagement of citizens was integral to successfully creating the plan. Evidence of the usefulness of an online forum was fully expressed in the award submission and other communities many find the rational for incorporating these techniques inform the design of their engagement processes. The participants should be commended for overcoming nearly a decade of indecision when consensus could not be reached.

General Planning Project:  Affordable Housing Credit ProgramThe project deserves honor for the process designed to engage the community in this important topic and the innovative solutions that resulted. Communities facing similar challenges can learn from the examples documented within the project and the award submission. The homes that have been built as a result of this program are testament to the success of this tool.

Project with a Small Budget:  North Avenue Zoning Overlay District:  The Merit Award was given to this project in order to honor the process undertaken that lead to the identification of tailored incentives to encourage reinvestment and desired community character and design. Urban renewal is a challenging topic to address and proposing new zoning is rarely a simple process. The award also acknowledges the community approach that was undertaken and the support received from stakeholders. Completing this project in roughly a one-year time period with all in-house staff provides inspiration to other communities regarding their potential to create a zoning overlay for a subarea. The progress toward achievement of redevelopment and occupancy goals is a testament to the success of this undertaking.

Innovation/Creative Partnerships and Collaborations:  Denver Livability Partnership:  This partnership was honored for its large-scale effort to bring together partners to address a topic that has the potential to make a large impact. The process provides an example for other communities in how to engage government stakeholders at various levels. The example of partnerships shows the importance of identifying implementation steps for community partners.

Innovation/Creative Partnerships and Collaborations:  Emerald Mountain Park Master Plan:  This plan received an award because of the large array of partnerships that were created to develop it. The shared management of the property and the diverse public use has necessitated the involvement of many people to collaborate in planning for this important property. The extensive efforts to bring everyone to the table as partners should be acknowledged and serves as an example for other public lands.

To see photographs from this year's Awards Reception and others from the conference, CLICK HERE.

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