2021 APA Virginia Awards program
about the awards program
Every year, the American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter honors and showcases the best in planning throughout the Commonwealth with its Awards Program, coinciding with our Annual Conference. The Awards Program recognizes the tireless work of individuals who bring great planning and places throughout Virginia. As a professional association, recognizing members and their high quality work is a core function of the Chapter. APA Virginia convenes a panel of peers each year for its Awards Committee representative of the profession’s depth and diversity to identify, acknowledge and promote great planning. Under this program, the Chapter strives to accomplish many objectives, including:
Helping Planners Plan, by highlighting best practices and inspiring our members;
Helping Virginia Plan, by promoting sound planning and decision-making in the Commonwealth;
Making Planning and Planners Matter, by promoting the value and enhancing the credibility of planners among elected and appointed officials, the public and related professions;
Meeting Membership Needs, by endorsing our members and their work;
Getting Planners Involved, by engaging volunteers to steer the awards committee and evaluate the work of their peers; and
Making Great Places Happen, by helping members and localities replicate and build on the success of others.
Please join us to honor our Award Winners On Thursday, October 21, 2021
The Awards Ceremony can be attended in person at Hotel Roanoke or virtually.
Contact APA Virginia Staff for more information
The Individual Awards categories honor individuals who are great practitioners and advocates of planning in Virginia.
The Nelsonite Award
Virginia’s Planning Advocate of the Year
Named for Virginia’s State Rock, the advocate award represents the bedrock of good planning in the Commonwealth. The award recognizes an individual or organization that advocates for planning on a local, regional or statewide scale.
The Dogwood Award
Virginia’s Citizen Planners of the Year
This award honors an outstanding Planning Commission that serves as an example for all citizen planners, by being: dedicated, objective, open, moral, balanced, and knowledgeable of the framework of planning in Virginia.
The Cardinal Awards
Legislator of the Year
Named for the State bird, the Cardinal Awards recognize elected officials that can see the big picture and find solutions through the field of planning. Local and State legislators are eligible for these recognitions.
The Planning Efforts category recognizes planning documents, a program or initiatives that make great places happen in the Commonwealth.
Holzheimer Economic Development Award
In honor of Terry Holzheimer, the Chapter will recognize great planning efforts for improving Virginia’s Economic Development. Eligible nominations include: planning studies, initiatives, programs, or site development. The successful nominee will show how these efforts resulted in economic development results to the locality, region, or state.
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.
Resilient Virginia Community of the Year Award
This award recognizes a community’s effort and commitment to build resilience through responsible planning practice and innovation. Successful nominees will present real-world solutions for buffering their community from the adverse effects of critical changes related to, for example, inadequate infrastructure, climate change, natural disasters, food and water shortages, economic restructuring, or institutional/organizational capacity changes.
Commonwealth Connectors Award
Planners diligently work, sometimes over many years, to implement new ideas to solve the Commonwealth’s transportation challenges. From distribution centers to autonomous vehicles, each community is finding creative ways to meet the diversity of today’s modern-day transportation needs. This award highlights innovative and exceptional transportation-focused planning.
Commonwealth Plan of the Year Award
The Commonwealth Plan of the Year Award honors the best planning document of the year. A successful nominee will show that the effort included outstanding planning processes, vision, implementation strategies and innovative approaches. The planning document can be local, regional or a statewide effort.
The great places category recognizes great places, developments, and communities in Virginia.
The Jamestown Award
Locality of the Year
In honor of the first local government in Virginia, the Chapter will recognize a locality that has undertaking a sound and innovative planning practices, not in a single plan but through various efforts. This award recognizes a town, city or county that is dedicated to the principles of planning.
The Red Clay Award
Development of the Year
Virginia’s red clay is the Commonwealth’s traditional building material, making it an appropriate name for Virginia’s Development of the Year Award. This recognition honors a development that exhibits the values of great planning, helping to create a great place in Virginia. Eligible nominees include infill developments, building rehabilitation projects, brownfield redevelopments, downtown redevelopment, and other similar projects.