The American Planning Association’s pilot program recognizes comprehensive plans that integrate sustainability elements. The City of Plano, Texas’, comprehensive plan, Plano Tomorrow, has received Silver Level recognition from the American Planning Association’s (APA) Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places Recognition Program Pilot.
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, managing 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.”
Plano Tomorrow is a web-based plan. The plan’s website is extremely innovative and the use of visuals and infographics for the Plano past section, combined with the concise narratives, videos, and links to other plans and websites makes it very easy for the public to digest and understand. The plan’s approach to consideration of usability by the public was very engaging.
Eight total comprehensive plans received either silver or bronze recognition, including:
- Envision Longmont – Longmont, Colorado
- Imagine 2040: Tampa Comprehensive Plan – Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission and Tampa, Florida
- Bring It On Bloomington! – McLean County (Illinois) Regional Planning Commission
- PlanDSM – Des Moines, Iowa
- Plano Tomorrow – Plano, Texas
- Los Angeles County General Plan – Los Angeles County, California
- City of Issaquah Comprehensive Plan – Issaquah, Washington
- Monroe Comprehensive Plan – Monroe, Wisconsin
“APA’s Silver Level recognition is an acknowledgment of a thoughtful and thorough process led by our Planning Department,” said Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere. “By working closely with the community they were able to design an excellent plan that meets the needs of all our stakeholders and enhances our status as a regional leader.”
This is the first round of recognition generated through the pilot program. A second round of plans will be recognized in Spring 2017. 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.