Texas Planning Awards

Awards For 2021

    Comprehensive Planning Award

    City of Round Rock | Round Rock 2030 Comprehensive Plan

    For a comprehensive or general plan that advances the science and art of planning. 

    Round Rock 2030 is an original and visionary comprehensive plan that was written in-house and reflects the wants and needs of a rapidly growing community. In particular, the development of the plan’s “Vision and Policies” section broadened citizens’ understanding of planning principles. 

    Stakeholder involvement in policy development was central to plan development. The two-year-long public engagement process, orchestrated by staff, created a constant feedback loop between planners and stakeholders. Incorporating current planning trends and past plan accomplishments, staff proposed ten draft policies to present to the public to prioritize, offer edits, and suggest additional policies. Two additional policies were added as a result of public input. The twelve policies were presented to the public for comment again before they were incorporated into the draft plan. 

    Each of the twelve policies pertains to a specific planning topic that helps realize the Round Rock 2030 vision. The plan’s “Vision and Policies” section includes a “Policy Description”, “Accomplishments of the Past Decade” and “Implementation Background” for each of the twelve policies. “Policy Description” provides a summary of policy development and elaborates on the policy’s meaning. “Accomplishments of the Past Decade” highlights the past decade’s planning ordinances/programs related to each of the twelve policies. Finally, “Implementation Background” provides a baseline for each policy’s associated implementation strategies. The context provided in “Vision and Policies” creates a strong, community-backed basis for future land use decisions. 

    Citizens, developers, and city staff can recognize the history of land use decisions made in the last decade and understand the proposed actions to complete by 2030. Annual reports will track progress made towards implementation from 2020 to 2030, creating the same strong context for the next comprehensive plan.

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    Advancing Diversity and Social Change

    The Latinos and Planning Division of the American Planning Association LUGARES: LAP Inaugural Conference

    This award honors an individual, project, group, or organization that promotes diversity and demonstrates a sustained commitment to advocacy by addressing the concerns of women and minorities through specific actions or contributions within the planning profession or through planning practice. 

    The LUGARES conference helped attendees understand what role Latinx planners have when addressing changes in their communities through effective community engagement in planning processes. The conference also increased awareness of policies and practices that have created inequities and unjust impacts in Latinx communities. The speakers introduced innovative planning policies and skills that are attendees can implement to address these impacts in order to uplift community needs and support Latinx professionals in their career. The conference was a space for many to exchange ideas and perspectives from a wide array of planning related topics and fields.

    The LUGARES conference is the first time in planning history where Latinx planners from around the country were able to come together and speak on our experiences. Many of our communities experience the same issues and LUGARES gave these planners a platform to listen and share knowledge that addresses them. Because of it’s success, LUGARES will be held every year to continue these discussions and give planners the knowledge to create inclusive communities that supports Latinx resident’s needs. 

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    Student Project Award

    University of Texas at Austin/Community and Regional Planning Program Student Award | Drowning in Disinvestment: Addressing inequities in stormwater infrastructure in Houston, Texas

    The Student Project Award recognizes an outstanding class project or paper by a student or group of students in Planning Accreditation Board-accredited planning programs that contribute to advances in the field of planning.

    The students’ produced work aimed at putting current investments in stormwater infrastructure to foster disaster resilience in the context of existing infrastructure inequities and the history behind those inequities. They communicated their results to multiple audiences by using a range of methods including an ArcGIS StoryMap, reports, infographics, press releases and OpEds. When confronted with data of inconsistent quality and completeness they strategically selected, analyzed and contrasted conditions in case study neighborhoods.

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    Planning Advocate Award

    Mayor Oscar Trevino | City of North Richland Hills

    This award honors an individual, appointed, or elected official who has advanced or promoted the cause of planning in the public arena. 

    Mayor Trevino’s trusted leadership in the city is reflected in stability through growth. When elected mayor in 2002, North Richland Hills still had room to grow, with a quarter of its 18 square miles still undeveloped. Through his eight mayoral reelections, the city grew by nearly 20,000 residents and reached 95-percent buildout. During these 19 years, Mayor Trevino shepherded the community through the formulation and implementation of plans and policies that support good planning, including:

    • Advocating for the continued success of HomeTown, a New Urbanist Traditional Neighborhood Development and 2017 Texas APA Great Neighborhood designee, and publicly acclaiming the planning characteristics that create such a distinctive neighborhood like HomeTown.

    • Spearheading efforts to build the 27-mile TEXRail regional commuter rail line and locate two new rail stations in North Richland Hills, and guiding the community through the adoption of transit-oriented development districts in both station areas that include innovative approaches to new residential, commercial, office and civic uses.

    • Leading the charge to redevelop an 80-acre derelict suburban mall site into a vibrant mixed-use urban village of civic, residential, commercial, hospitality, and office uses.

    • Guiding the adoption of land use plans in 2007, 2012, and 2019, with support of public engagement and open communication during the planning process.

    • Championing the innovative Vision2030 Transportation Plan, which received the 2020 Transportation Plan Award (Gold) from Texas APA, and supporting forward-thinking multimodal solutions to complex transportation issues.

    Community of the Year Award

    City of Round Rock

    Legacy Project Winners


    Texas Chapter Award


    Texas Planning Legend Award


    Chapter President's Award


    Planning Achievement Awards

    In addition to the seven planning awards, the jury also selected 15 achievement award recipients for 2021. These awards recognize good planning work. Achievement award recipients are collectively recognized at the Texas planning awards ceremony.

    Best Practice
    This award is for a specific planning tool, practice, program, project, or process. This category emphasizes results and demonstrates how innovative and state-of-the-art planning methods and practices help to create communities of lasting value.

    Environmental Planning
    This award honors efforts to create more sustainable and greener communities that reduce the impact of development on the natural environment and improve environmental quality.

    Economic Development Planning
    This award recognizes efforts planning for economic development.

    Recognizing an effort that demonstrates a significant achievement for an area—a single community or a region—in accomplishing positive changes as a result of planning.

    Public Outreach
    This award honors an individual, project, or program that uses information and education about the value of planning to create greater awareness among citizens or specific segments of the public. The award celebrates how planning improves a community’s quality of life.

    This award recognizes a strategy that increases the ability of a community to recover from and adapt to shocks and stresses (natural disasters, human-caused disasters, climate change, etc.), resulting in it becoming stronger and better prepared than ever before.

    Transportation Planning
    This award honors efforts to increase transportation choices for all populations, reducing dependence on private automobiles and helping to ease congestion and reducing climate change impacts.

    Urban Design
    This award honors efforts to create a sense of place, whether a street, public space, neighborhood, or campus effort.