This week the American Planning Association (APA) Texas Chapter announced the state’s best planning projects, advocates, and communities for 2019, and the City of Duncanville won the Planning Achievement Award – Public Outreach for the “Get in the Zone” Outreach Project – Gold.  The Planning Department earned the award for outstanding public outreach efforts aimed at educating the public about the value of planning to create greater awareness among citizens. The award celebrates how planning improves a community’s quality of life. Public awareness activities included a proclamation passed by City Council, participating in events like National Night Out and Pastries with the Planner, winning the Scenic City Award, presenting at the state conference and engaging the youth in Duncanville regarding the importance of planning in communities.

“Community planning is so important because it addresses all the subjects that impact where people work, live and play: land use, transportation, housing, economic development and more,” said City Planner Chasidy Allen Benson. “The most important aspect of planning is public education and outreach. Plans reflect the needs and wants of a community as identified by the public; Therefore, it’s imperative to engage people in a variety of ways to ensure you are getting input from all ages, races, and socio-economic backgrounds.”

The Texas Planning Awards Program recognizes outstanding efforts in planning achievements and planning leadership in Texas. These awards represent the state’s highest planning honors. The Awards Selection Committee evaluated nominees based on originality and innovation, engagement, implementation and effectiveness, quality, and promotion of planning.

“These awards are a testament to a community’s commitment to good planning practices,” said Doug McDonald, AICP, President of APA-Texas. “Our awards recipients exemplify many facets that make up effective planning – including community engagement, housing, transportation, and economic development. It is an honor to recognize the efforts of elected and appointed officials, residents and businesses, and city planners who all played an important role with the development of these plans and projects.”

An Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 8, 2019 at the Waco Convention Center in Waco, Texas. The announcement of the Texas Planning Awards is one of the ways APA kicks off National Community Planning Month each October, a month-long event celebrating the accomplishments of the many residents, leaders, officials, and professionals who contribute to making great communities through the planning process.