APA California Awards



APA California’s Planning Awards program provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the great planning work occurring throughout California. The purpose of the program is to encourage quality in planning and increase the public’s awareness of the planning profession by recognizing outstanding achievement in the field. The program honors innovative plans and projects, distinguished APA members, lay contributors to planning, and the achievements of APA California’s Sections.

Each year, the APA California Planning Awards review plans and programs that received an award of excellence or merit at the Section level, projects of significance in multiple Sections, and projects of Statewide significance. In addition, the Planning History Awards recognize and celebrate the great planning work occurring throughout California. The awards nominations for Planning Landmark and Pioneer recognize important contributions to the development of California planning. The nominations for Planning Landmark (to a significant plan, program or advancement in planning) and Planning Pioneer (to an individual) are a special category of awards that are submitted to the Chapter for review by the Chapter Historian and the Chapter Board. 

Please see the Awards Program Policies for complete guidance and criteria for each of the award categories:

  • Academic
  • Advancing Diversity and Social Change
  • Best Practices
  • Communications Initiative
  • Comprehensive Planning: Large Jurisdiction (pop. >100,000)
  • Comprehensive Planning: Small Jurisdiction (pop. <100,000)
  • Distinguished Contribution
  • Distinguished Service
  • Economic Planning and Development
  • Emerging Planning and Design Firm
  • Grassroots Initiative
  • Hard-Won Victory
  • Implementation: Large Jurisdiction (pop. >100,000)
  • Implementation: Small Jurisdiction (pop. <100,000)
  • Innovation in Green Community Planning
  • Opportunity and Empowerment
  • Planner Emeritus Network (PEN)
  • Planning Advocate
  • Planning Agency (public sector)
  • Planning Firm (private sector)
  • Planning Landmark
  • Planning Pioneer
  • Public Outreach
  • Section Activity
  • Transportation Planning
  • Urban Design

For questions on the Awards Program, please contact:

State Awards Coordinator – NorthernElaine (Xue) Ling[email protected]
State Awards Coordinator – SouthernGeoffrey Danker, AICP[email protected]
Vice President for Administration

Lisa Lind, AICP
[email protected]

Pioneer or Landmark Awards

Before submitting an application for the Pioneer or Landmark awards, please contact the Chapter Historians to discuss your nomination:
Steve Preston, FAICPCHAPTER HISTORIAN – SOUTHERN[email protected]
J. Laurence (Larry) Mintier, FAICPCHAPTER HISTORIAN – NORTHERN[email protected]

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.