2019 Project Award Winners

Awards of Excellence

Neighborhood Planning as Community Assets

Category: Neighborhood Planning

Since the 1960’s, planners have wrestled with how to meaningfully engage neighborhoods in planning processes. To meaningfully engage, neighborhoods must possess informational, social, and political capacities. The project, Neighborhoods as Community Assets, pilot tested a new “participatory neighborhood narrative” process for neighborhood capacity building and planning. The process was tested over 15 months in Porters, an historically African American neighborhood in Gainesville, Florida, which is facing gentrification. The transferrable process directly strengthened the neighborhood by building all three capacities, which in turn led to more meaningful participation and tangible impacts, within the neighborhood and in relation to local planning.


Regional Affordable Housing Initiative

Category: Best Practices

The City of Orlando, Orange County, Seminole County and Osceola County have worked in partnership to produce the Regional Affordable Housing Initiative, a regional plan addressing affordable housing concerns beyond the municipal or county level. The document includes detailed quantitative analysis and identifies a series of financial, regulatory and educational tools intended to be a consistent and uniform framework for mitigating a housing problem existing across jurisdictional boundaries. The partnering jurisdictions have all either formally adopted this plan as a policy statement or taken very specific steps to assure critical tools within it are advanced and adopted as necessary.


Little Havana Me Importa Revitalization Plan

Category: Grassroots Initiative

The Little Havana “Me Importa” master plan is the result of unprecedented, grassroots, bilingual public outreach that reached nearly 3,000 stakeholders. The collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation supports affordable housing, job creation, open space, recreational opportunities, sustainability and preserving unique architecture and heritage. The largely pro-bono effort aims to uplift a low-income community with an urgent need to improve its built environment, supporting healthier living options and paying careful attention to historical assets. The plan for the 1,800+-acre neighborhood addresses dozens of major issues in Miami’s challenged, but historic and culturally-rich Little Havana.


Awards of Merit

 Glades Region Master Plan Implementation

Glades Region Master Plan Implementation

Category: Planning Project

The distressed Glades Region (GR) of Palm Beach County (County) is making significant strides toward achieving economic sustainability, resulting from the GRMP. These strides are attributable to planners securing grant funding from HUD. A three-year planning process produced a Plan developed by GR stakeholders and professionals that not only identified, designed and quantified the costs of infrastructure improvements to support development, but also prioritized improvements in areas of most need from a land-use balance, market and accessibility perspective. The GRMP was accepted by HUD in 2016, with improvements recommended by the Plan totaling in excess of $330 million to date.


Southwest Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory: Rails to Renaissance

Category: Planning Project

A century ago the Atlantic Coast Line Railway depot in Fort Myers first delivered passengers and cargo to Southwest Florida. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the City of Fort Myers’ public-private partnership repurposed and reinvented the historic depot to transform the old site into the new “Collaboratory.”

The 2.4-acre campus features vibrant spaces for work, gatherings, special events and regional collaboration. By establishing its regional offices at the Collaboratory through a long-term lease with the City, the Foundation is providing both stewardship of a valuable community asset and leadership in gathering and galvanizing people, ideas and philanthropy.


South Central Park

Category: Innovations in Planning for All Ages

The South Central Park Project preserves its quaint charm and historical significance while shifting its purpose for future generations. It incorporates unique elements and multifunctional uses for a 24-hour sense of place unlike any other. It demonstrates how multi-use design can be incorporated to maximize valuable public space, and how design and aesthetics can create synergies between opposing uses. The design accommodates parking and circulation, and transforms into a large lighted piazza after hours. Custom elements are incorporated to accommodate a variety of events. The repurposed pedestrian walkway connects the parks to the Trail System where pedestrians stroll the gateway.


Coconut Grove Village Core Master Plan

Category: Neighborhood Planning

The Coconut Grove Village Core Master Plan is a comprehensive overview and specific action roadmap to guide the district to proper growth that positively impacts both economic growth and quality of life. PlusUrbia Design’s plan, with support from architects Perkins + Will and Garcia-Pons, was created and drafted from intense stakeholder input. The results-oriented plan provides the tools to improve the identity and character, open space, mobility, land use and form, community and resiliency of the Village Core. Unanimously adopted, the plan is essential to maintaining the Grove’s history of lush greenery, idyllic waterfront, unique restaurants/retail and one-of-a-kind village vibe.


Envision St. Cloud

Category: Best Practices

Developed through an in-depth series of public engagements, Envision St. Cloud drives physical improvements and new policies that reflect the community’s aspirations to be a strong and livable town that embraces its downtown and lakefront through growth that reinforces the positive town-and-country qualities of community character. The scope of the plan includes the entire existing city plus surrounding unincorporated lands that may be included in the city limits in the future.


Midtown Vision Plan: Downtown Fort Myers Integrated Redevelopment Strategy

Category: Best Practices

The City of Fort Myers and its partners developed a cohesive strategy for urban design, regulatory revisions and long-range planning for Downtown Fort Myers. The Midtown Vision Plan: Downtown Fort Myers Integrated Redevelopment Strategy was a multi-year effort to engage the community in crafting a vision for the City, its Downtown and the new Midtown. The 243-acre Midtown area was the intense focus of the city's planning and visioning efforts. The city explored in depth how the new proposed Midtown area will accommodate smart growth, more housing options, and enhanced economic opportunities for the city and its citizens.


Maitland Comprehensive Plan 2035

Category: Comprehensive Plan- Small

The City of Maitland’s 2035 Comprehensive Development Plan is the blueprint for the city’s future, bringing together interconnected neighborhoods, multimodal transportation solutions, and “smart” redevelopment options. Maitland is rapidly reaching buildout, making it important to capitalize on available infrastructure and plan for projects that will increasingly come in the form of infill development and redevelopment of existing properties. With a goal of remaining a model community that is regionally competitive, the bold, yet adaptable plan supports an emerging downtown, maintains a high-quality suburban community experience, and protects cornerstones of the City such as its parks, lakes, and other natural resources.


Arts & Cultural Master Plan for Downtown Lake Worth

Category: Grassroots Initiative

Lake Worth Beach is known as a culturally and architecturally rich city.  It is also recognized for embracing various lifestyles and cultures. Leadership from the Community Redevelopment Agency and the City are undertaking a series of initiatives to achieve economic vitality through arts and culture. To build upon past efforts, including the creation of an arts district and the development of live/work artist housing, the Cultural Council, the CRA and the City collaborated to develop and Arts and Culture Master Plan for Downtown Lake Worth.  The Master Plan aims to boost arts and culture to create a sustainable, thriving downtown.


Assessment of Planning Risks and Alternative Futures for the Florida Transportation Plan Update

Category: Student Project

Students from FSU, USF, and UF, worked for FDOT without intra-University collaboration to understand how changes in economics, demographics, the environment, technology and global conditions might impact transportation planning over the next 50 years. Upon completing this independent research, they came together to help craft an agenda for a long-range visioning session in support of FDOT’s 2020 update to the FTP. The session, attended by over 200 planning professionals, was held on May 7, 2019. The students highlighted project-derived posters and white papers, hosted a panel discussion on the five areas, and helped with small group facilitation.



Past Winners