APA’s pilot program recognizes plans that advance the principles, processes, and attributes of sustainability as detailed in the Comprehensive Plan Standards. The program aims to increase awareness about the importance and value of a comprehensive plan that also addresses a community’s overall sustainability.
Submitted plans produced within the last five years were eligible for review and recognition. A team of professional planners scored plans based upon the principles of a livable built environment; harmony with nature; resilient economy; interwoven equity; healthy community; and responsible regionalism. The reviewers also looked at the community engagement and implementation efforts, and the attributes that shape the content and characteristics of a comprehensive plan.
“Comprehensive plans are vital for shaping a community and meeting the needs of its residents – today and tomorrow,” said David Rouse, FAICP, ASLA, director of APA’s Research and Advisory Services. “The plans recognized through this program are guiding communities toward a more sustainable, enduring, and equitable future.”
The Imagine 2040: Temple Terrace Comprehensive Plan focuses on issues related to future land use and transportation, particularly as they connect housing, schools, jobs and recreational areas. The use of historic resources, sustainable development, renewables, green building practices and intergovernmental cooperation are also emphasized. Reviewers cited the plan’s key features, such as a policy listing, definitions, index of terms and definition of metrics, which helps readers understand the plan’s objectives and evaluate its progress.
“We are proud to be honored with the American Planning Association’s first-ever gold level award for Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places,” said Temple Terrace City Manager Charles Stephenson. “Our Imagine 2040 Comprehensive Plan emphasizes multi-modal transportation while protecting our historical and natural assets as we move forward toward creating a sustainable future for our amazing city.”
The Imagine 2040: Plant City Comprehensive Plan includes details not usually included in many comprehensive plans, such as green buildings, renewable energy, local food access, jobs-housing balance, public schools and counseling of developers. The plan has a strong emphasis on refocusing growth and redevelopment in walkable, less auto-reliant neighborhoods. It is unique in its ability to simultaneously update all area comprehensive plans in concert with other county-sponsored plans.
“For our growing city to meet its vision, we must successfully master change and lead. Over a two-year period, our city partnered with the planning commission to develop the Imagine 2040: Plant City Comprehensive Plan – a blueprint to guide us towards a more sustainable future. We are honored by this recognition from the American Planning Association,” said Plant City Mayor Rick Lott.
“The Planning Commission is so proud to have achieved the only Gold Level Comprehensive Plan for Sustaining Places nationwide for the work done with the City of Temple Terrace on their Comprehensive Plan. This recognizes the city’s commitment to sustainable growth and multi-modal transportation as well as their stewardship of their natural assets,” said Melissa Zornitta, AICP, executive director of the Planning Commission. “The 2017 APA Silver Level Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places truly acknowledges the partnership and hard work the City of Plant City and Planning Commission staff put into the recent update of the Plant City Comprehensive Plan. We are thrilled to now have all the plans of all three cities in Hillsborough County recognized through this rigorous review process by APA.”
In addition to Temple Terrace and Plant City, other plans recognized include:
This is the second round of recognition generated through APA’s pilot program. Plans reviewed in the first round were recognized in Fall 2016. All plans will be honored at APA’s National Planning Conference in New York City, May 6 – 9, 2017.
The Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places Recognition Program Pilot is a result of APA’s Sustaining Places initiative that examined how places can be sustained and how places can sustain life and civilizations. Planning’s comprehensive focus is not limited to a building or a site, but encompasses all scales and all forms of organization of human settlements, from rural areas and small towns to cities and metropolitan regions. The program is run through APA’s National Centers for Planning.
The American Planning Association is an independent, not- for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people’s lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. For more information, visit planning.org.