Texas Planning Awards
Awards For 2022
Comprehensive Planning Award
City of Pflugerville | Aspire Pflugerville 2040
For a comprehensive or general plan that advances the science and art of planning.
The Aspire 2040 Plan represents a visionary approach through a creative engagement process designed to gather community feedback during the pandemic, later discussed in the engagement criterion. The incorporation of guiding principles, the Wellness Wheel, 10-minute neighborhood, and furthering what it means to provide for quality of life and how healthy community elements are interconnected make the Aspire 2040 Plan ground-breaking.
The Wellness Wheel is much more than a lofty goal; it is the foundation of personal health and well-being of Pflugerville residents, visitors, and employees as further expressed through facility planning, provision of public services, neighborhood planning, and the respective goals, objectives, and action items provided within the Plan. Similar to wellness wheels for personal growth and well-being, Pflugerville strives to create a healthy community and a high quality of life, both in the built environment and for its residents. The Wellness Wheel supports the notion that individuals should have a healthy balance of these elements to achieve high quality of life.
The Wellness Wheel is also a representation of what it means to create a complete and healthy neighborhood. While concepts of wellness contemplated by the Wellness Wheel are commonly associated with facility design and public services, geographic variability also plays a significant role in the ability of individual persons to achieve the points of wellness. Therefore, the Plan established a district-based approach to initiate steps toward achieving more complete neighborhoods. The districts were created based on physical and perceived barriers to accessing elements of a “10-minute neighborhood” and defined the connections needed to achieve a healthy community. The application and implementation of the Wellness Wheel through other plan elements, including facility planning and public services, are later discussed in other criteria.
City of College Station Comprehensive Plan
For a comprehensive or general plan that advances the science and art of planning.
The City of College Station employed inventive ideas aimed at addressing the biggest challenges facing the community. Public input identified needs such as protecting the character of established neighborhoods, addressing affordability in the face of rising home prices and outof-town investors, mitigating peak-hour congestion levels, and growing in fiscally responsible ways. City staff created innovative actions to address these issues in Chapters 3-Strong Neighborhoods, 6-Integrated Mobility, and 8-Managed Growth, respectively.
To protect neighborhoods and support housing choices, the updated plan seeks to expand workforce and affordable housing (action 3.4), define a set of strategic measures for housing affordability, diversity, and gentrification (3.6), create housing maintenance educational programs (3.3), and evaluate and refine the short-term rental and rental registration programs (3.14 and 3.15). These actions work in tandem to mitigate impacts on established neighborhoods, support neighborhood integrity, and direct staff to actively work on housing affordability while maintaining community character.
To address traffic concerns, City staff incorporated new language on mobility options and
micromobility as important components of the mobility system. The plan emphasizes complete
street implementation (6.1), enhancements to intersections (6.2), improvements to bicycle and
pedestrian infrastructure (6.4), new programs to reduce vehicular demand (6.7), and to develop
a travel demand management program (6.13).
To manage growth, the plan prioritizes proactive infrastructure investments in redevelopment
and infill areas (8.1) and underutilized retail spaces (8.3), considers updates to the
water/sanitary sewer extension policy (8.5) (an action that has been achieved since the plan’s
adoption), directs staff to conduct a fiscal analysis to determine the true costs to the City of
various development types (8.6), and uses tools such as MUDs and development agreements
to manage pressures along the City’s boundaries (8.8). These actions apply planning best
practices and innovative approaches while implementing new actions and ideas across the City.
Student Project Award
Texas Target Communities | Envision Caldwell Comprehensive Plan 2022-2042
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.
Students completed the “Envision Caldwell Comprehensive Plan 2022-2042” in four graduate urban planning courses and one undergraduate landscape architecture course as part of the Texas Target Communities program (TxTC) and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University, which equates to 9,000 student-working hours. The City of Caldwell worked collaboratively to develop their first comprehensive plan led by community goals for long-term sustainability. The impetus to the 18-month effort amid the COVID-19 pandemic as they grappled with questions related to: how will regional growth impact our small town; can we enhance civic participation and trust; can we build on our strengths; how do we connect the whole community; how can we prepare our youth as a skilled workforce; can our Main Street become the vibrant cultural center it once was; and how do we roll up our sleeves and get to work?
Planning Advocate Award
City Manager Mike Sims | City of Terrell
This award honors an individual, appointed, or elected official who has advanced or promoted the cause of planning in the public arena.
The City of Terrell, by virtue of the planning leadership of Mr. Mike Sims, has embarked on a massive revitalization/re-invigoration of the existing historic downtown expanded with a 25-block extension south of the railroad tracks. Mr. Sims and the City of Terrell have employed and integrated multiple planning studies that will transform an underutilized area adjacent to their downtown into a vibrant mixed use community center with a new downtown “Central Park” of 8 city blocks. The delivery of this vision is being planned as an incremental development with a 10-year trek to their finish line. This is a one of a kind, once in a lifetime endeavor for the City of Terrell that exemplifies the power and the passion of planning. The City of Terrell is indeed fortunate to have Mr. Sims advocacy for planning as the core tender for this fire.
Community of the Year Award
Texas Chapter Award
Legacy Project Winners
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.
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.
- City of Houston Planning and Development Department ADU|HOU - Gold
- Harris County Community Services Department My Home is Here: Harris County's Housing Needs Assessment and 10-Year Strategy - Silver
- Houston-Galveston Area Council East Aldine Livable Centers Study - Silver
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.
- City of Cedar Hill: Cedar Hill Next - Comprehensive Plan - Gold
- Houston-Galveston Area Council Regional Conservation Framework and Initiative - Silver
Grass Roots Initiative
Honoring an initiative that illustrates how a neighborhood, community group or other local non-governmental entity utilized the planning process to address a specific need or issue within the community.
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.
- Kerrville 2050 Implementation Plan - Gold
- Texas Target Communities, City of Nolanville ENDEAVRide: Transport + Telemedicine for Small, Rural Communities - Silver
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.
- Ruffino Hills Landfill: Resilient Redevelopment and Detention Strategy – Southwest Houston Redevelopment Authority, TIRZ 20 and University of Houston - Gold
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.
- City of Brownsville Sidewalk and Trails Master Plan - Gold
- Houston Downtown Redevelopment Authority Bagby Street Improvement Project - Gold
This award recognizes a planning project, initiative, or endeavor that is historically significant and that may be used or accessed by the public.
This award honors efforts to create a sense of place, whether a street, public space, neighborhood, or campus effort