Awards Nominations

Old Dominion Innovative Approaches Award:

Virginia has many unique challenges, where innovative planning solutions are critical for making great places happen. The Innovative Approaches Award recognizes pioneering planning efforts in the Commonwealth. Nominees may include innovative planning processes, plans, programs, initiatives or site developments that have or will result in real results.

Town of Warrenton: Student Postcard Project

February 03, 2017

As the Town of Warrenton began the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan, there was a desire to seek out new and innovative community involvement techniques. With a population of approximately 10,000 residents, a new Town Manager, and a new Town Council, the stage was set for a renewed commitment to public outreach, transparency, and enhancing the quality of life. The Student Postcard Project employed a new multi-disciplinary approach to allow students to explore how they would communicate what makes their community special to them. Conducted in six schools (public and private) located within the Town of Warrenton boundaries, students were asked to communicate their favorite place or activity in 2016, as well as their desire for the Town in 2040.

Del Ray Neighborhood Pattern Book

February 03, 2017

The Del Ray Neighborhood Residential Pattern Book is an educational tool and voluntary
resource for homeowners, design professionals, contractors and developers. The primary
purpose is to explain neighborhood development patterns and building styles, thereby
encouraging more thoughtful rehabilitation and new construction practices in this special
community. The illustrative, user-friendly pattern book contains valuable information on
neighborhood history, development patterns, architectural styles and building forms, basic
design principles and best practices, as well as recommendations for designing sensitive
additions and new construction. In addition, the pattern book includes a working journal for
homeowners that documents important architectural features, projects, and “to do”
maintenance lists.

Military Highway Urban Development Area

February 03, 2017

Faced with these opportunities and challenges, Norfolk was able to partner with the Commonwealth of Virginia to undertake an Urban Development Area (UDA) study, exploring ways to transform this area into a vibrant, walkable new urban center. Led by Renaissance Planning and Michael Baker International, and with the input of the community, key stakeholders, elected representatives and City staff, a 50-year transformation plan was drafted to show the long term potential development by creating a series of walkable urban neighborhoods anchored by a potential new transit boulevard and station areas. This Vision Plan is a representation of what the future of Military Circle and Military Highway could look like in coming decades and will serve as a reference and guide for both public and private investments in the future.

Plan Charter: Loudoun County Comprehensive Plan

February 03, 2017

Major projects like a new Comprehensive Plan can seem overwhelming due to size of the project, controversial topic areas, various opinions of decision makers, the costs, and the deadline for completion.  Loudoun County Planning and Zoning staff worked with the Board of Supervisors to develop a Plan Charter or a “Plan on how to do a Plan” prior to beginning the process.   This innovative approach led to ensure that all parties involved share the same vision for the purpose, focus, process, approach, and schedule for the project.  This charter also full empowers the staff, consultant and appointed stakeholder groups to confidently carry out the project because there is a clear course/path to follow to achieve the results.  

Charlottesville: Streets That Work Plan

February 03, 2017

The purpose of the Streets That Work Plan is to develop guidelines that are designed to best serve all users within the appropriate context, and create vibrant and sustainable public spaces along streets. Street features (bus stops, street trees, etc.) are prioritized and design standards (lane width, curb radius, public plaza area, etc.) are recommended for each street "typology," including Downtown, Industrial, Mixed-Use, and Neighborhood streets.

Wetlands Watch: Adaptation Guide

February 03, 2017

The Adaptation Guide supports many of the goals of the Virginia APA Chapter, including highlighting best practices that Virginia’s planners are using to create more resilient cities, counties, and towns. The inclusion of case studies, sample ordinance language, and anecdotal comments from those working on the ground will help localities replicate innovative solutions. Our guide is hosted online, allowing it to act as a living document, evolving based on emerging trends, funding availability, and the political climate. We have continued our outreach efforts, with plans to share the guide at the Environmental Virginia symposium, as well as through online webinars with the Virginia Tech Land Use Education Program, targeting local elected and appointed officials, many of whom (we have learned) have received no formal information on sea level rise impacts and solutions. It is our hope that by continuing to disseminate knowledge about innovative planning efforts to combat sea level rise, we will help to inform the community of practice within Virginia.

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