News Release: June 10, 2021

Four Award-Winning Plans Strengthening Communities

The American Planning Association (APA) honors the planners working to help communities heal, recover and ,grow toward a stronger future with the 2021 National Planning Awards.

CHICAGO (June 10, 2021) – The four 2021 National Planning Award recipients illustrate how planners are helping communities move forward by healing past inequities, overcoming the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and creating better access to opportunity. The American Planning Association (APA) presents its awards annually to elevate the importance of planning within our communities. The recipients were honored today at a virtual ceremony.

Planners Foster Equitable Communities

"This year's award recipients demonstrate that planners can help communities move forward to more equitable and prosperous outcomes, even when faced with uncertainty," said Kristen Asp, AICP, 2021 APA awards jury chair. "Planning is necessary to keep communities thriving and to ensure a better quality of life for all residents." 

Learn about this year's recipients:

Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan

Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth

Richmond, Virginia

The new city-wide comprehensive plan aims to prioritize equitable and sustainable growth in the city over the next 20 years. The plan focuses on environmental justice, walkability, and economic growth and outlines six "big moves" to guide implementation. Recognizing the city's history of racist policies, the planning team took special care to ensure all Richmonders could see their influence in Richmond 300.

Advancing Diversity & Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff

Bayview Community Based Transportation Plan

San Francisco, California

The Bayview CBTP represents a new commitment to the long-underserved Bayview-Hunters Point community. Partnering with trusted community organizations, the plan helped restore trust, transparency, and accountability in the community. Participatory budgeting, an equity index tool, and identified action items for both short- and long-term implementation demonstrated the planning team's commitment to centering the voices and needs of the community.

Resilience & Sustainability Award

Together We Can: A Primer for Recovery

Henderson, Nevada

Building upon its foundation of strong planning, Henderson was able to quickly respond to community needs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic through its recovery plan. The planning team led and facilitated six recovery support function groups to identify and distribute resources to the region's most vulnerable residents and first responders. Long-standing regional partnerships were strengthened as community stakeholders across jurisdictions collaborated to leverage funding, resources, and information.

Planning Excellence Award

Our Parks, Our Future Long Range Plan

Austin, Texas

Austin's Parks and Recreation Department plan guides the growth of the city's park system, providing a blueprint to guide land acquisition, capital improvements, park design, and development of programs and amenities. The new plan accommodates the needs of residents by expanding food access, creating a more welcoming environment, addressing displacement concerns, and protecting the park's natural resources.

APA's National Planning Awards have been presented for more than 50 years. The awards are selected by a jury of planning practitioners.

NOTE: View videos about each award recipient.

Residents work in one of Austin, Texas’ community gardens.

Residents work in one of Austin, Texas's community gardens.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The nearly 40,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders, and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, APA's Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to good planning. APA is based in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at

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For Immediate Release: June 10, 2021

Contact: Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395;

June 10, 2021