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2015 Award Recipients

The 2015 APA Ohio Planning Awards were announced on September 25, 2015 at the APA Ohio Planning Conference in Toledo. Seven exemplary projects were honored in 7 categories. There were 23 high‐quality nominations. The Michigan Chapter of APA served as the awards jury, using published criteria including innovation, quality, implementation and transferability.

Outstanding Planner
Greg Dale, FAICP

This year we recognize Greg Dale, a planner who has a distinguished career of professional service, has trained thousands of planning commissioners, and has been an active participant in APA Ohio.  The awards jury commented that Greg has covered all facets of planning throughout his career, from infrastructure projects to planning ethics, from environmental planning to public engagement processes. Greg is a fellow of the FAICP.

Comprehensive Planning – Large Jurisdiction
University District Plan, City of Columbus, Planning Division

The plan is the areas first comprehensive land use and development strategy. The judges recognized that:

  • The internal development of this plan demonstrates the value of having permanent planning staff with intimate knowledge of the community on the municipal payroll
  • The plan showed outstanding sensitivity to the nuances of town-gown issues, especially through market analysis
  • The plan had an impressive public engagement process.

Comprehensive Planning – Small Jurisdiction
Bowling Green Improvement Plan: Meeting the Needs of Today and Tomorrow, the City of Bowling Green

This plan updated a 1987 outdated plan. The jury commented that the plan acknowledges planning failures of the past, and is ambitious, yet realistic, in proposing bad ideas for addressing substantive issues.  The plan also has useful, transferable tools to communities across the county, such as the permeable land use map.

Outstanding Community Planning
Mill Creek Watershed Council of Governments

The award recognizes 20 years of working to revive an urban stream. The judges further commentated that the efforts include simplified handouts showing goals, process and focus areas.  The jury stated they should be further recognized for innovative public involvement such as canal trips and birding outings to engage and educate residents.


Focused Planning Project

The Essence of Athens: A Strategic Design Plan for Economic Enhancement and Community Competitiveness

The jury noted that this was the toughest category to decide upon, given that there were 4 or 5 excellent submissions. However, this plan rose above the rest and deserves the spotlight. The plan embraces strategic Athens-based design standards. The judges commented:

  • The attractive and creative format breaks brand new ground for the role of the planning profession in our communities and is worthy of consideration by planners and municipalities everywhere.
  • This refreshing, engaging planning process is imaginative, from crosswalk design and lighting to the means and locations by which the citizens can express themselves politically. The document is truly comprehensive.

Focused Built Project
The Long Street Bridge and Cultural Wall project by MKSK

This project is part of the ODOT I-70/71 project which re-connects the King-Lincoln neighborhood to Downtown. The jury recognized the project respects past planning efforts and the transportation needs of all users, rights the historical wrongs of dividing neighborhoods by freeways, and uniquely combines walkability goals with art, culture, history and truly invites people to explore this vibrant, proud neighborhood.


Planning Students

The Columbus Rail Studio, The Ohio State University, Knowlton School of Architecture, Fall 2014 undergraduate studio. 

The judges recognized the plan is well researched, well-written and makes excellent use of graphics.  It contains excellent detailed case studies and in-depth analysis of past efforts which makes the document relevant even with leadership changes and the final document speaks volumes about the high level of education provided through the Knowlton School of Architecture.

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