Awards Program

Great Places CA_Sac - Copy


The California Chapter of the America Planning Association is pleased to announce the inaugural year for the Great Places in California Awards. A Great Place in California is one that exemplifies character, quality and excellent planning. It can be anywhere from the beach to the mountains, from a large city to a small community. It can be a vibrant downtown, a suburban gathering place, a historic small town, a public park, or preserved open space. Most important, it must be a place where people want to be! Three awards will be selected in 2015. Please see the nomination form for additional information on the Great Place in California recognition. Nominations are due Friday, March 6, 2015.

Go here to submit

APA California plans to announce the Great Places in California winners the week of April 13, 2015.


The APA California Awards Program encourages quality in planning and increases the public’s awareness of the planning profession by recognizing outstanding achievement in the planning field. The program honors innovative plans and projects, distinguished APA members, lay contributors to planning and achievements of local APA California Sections.

APA California Planning Awards are presented annually at the APA California Conference in two categories: Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit. Additionally, Scholastic Awards are given to students by the California Planning Foundation, a nonprofit, tax-deductible arm of APA California, and Historic Planning Landmark Awards are given to historical projects.

APA California Awards

APA California is honored to recognize the outstanding planners, projects and planning efforts throughout the state.

Nominations for the 2014 APA California Awards are being accepted now through June 2, 2014. Section level award winners for some award categories qualify for consideration at the State level, and many other categories need not win at the Section level to be eligible for a State Award. The State Award categories have been updated this year, with new categories – see list below.

APA 2014 Awards Application

2014 Awards Program Policies

2014 APA California Additional Award Order form

APA California award categories

Opportunity and Empowerment  NEW

Comprehensive Planning: Large Jurisdiction (pop. 100,000+)

Comprehensive Planning: Small Jurisdiction (pop. less than 100,000)

Implementation: Large Jurisdiction (pop. 100,000+)

Implementation: Small Jurisdiction (pop. less than 100,000)

Innovation in Green Community Planning

Economic Planning and Development NEW

Transportation Planning NEW

Best Practices

Grassroots Initiative

Public Outreach NEW

Urban Design NEW

Planning Advocate NEW

Planning Firm (private sector) NEW

Planning Agency (public sector) NEW

Emerging Planning and Design Firm NEW

Advancing Diversity and Social Change


Communications Initiative NEW

Hard-Won Victory

Planning Landmark

Planning Pioneer

Distinguished Service

Distinguished Contribution

Section Activity

Planner Emeritus Network (PEN)

For questions on the Awards Program, please contact:

State Awards Coordinator (North)
John Cook, AICP
1814 Franklin Street, Suite 1000
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 285-6725

State Awards Coordinator (South)
Danny Castro
City of Sierra Madre
232 W. Sierra Madre Boulevard
Sierra Madre, CA 91024
(626) 355-7135

Vice President for Administration
Kristen Asp, AICP
City of Glendale
633 E. Broadway, Room 103
Glendale CA 91206
(818) 937-8161 (w)
(818) 240-0392 (f)


Student scholarship Awards

Each year the California Planning Foundation (CPF) invites planning students to compete for a number of scholarships. Scholarships are offered to students enrolled in eligible planning programs in California (both accredited and non-accredited programs). The scholarship awards are recognized at a special student awards luncheon, hosted by CPF, and held separate from the State Awards luncheon during the conference.  Scholarship information is available on the CPF website.