APA Iowa Announces Recipients of 2021 Planning Awards

November 15, 2021
Community & Regional Planning Urban Design Parks & Open Space

Conferred annually, the APA Iowa Chapter Awards recognize work that strengthens cities and helps communities thrive.

The Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-Iowa) awarded three projects, which were completed in collaboration between RDG Planning & Design and cities throughout the state. Conferred annually, the APA Iowa Chapter Awards honor exemplary programs, plans, tools, processes, reports or ordinances across seven categories including Best Practices, Grassroots Initiative, Implementation, Transportation Planning, Environmental Planning, Urban Design and Economic Development Planning. Representatives from RDG joined project and city partners to receive the awards during APA Iowa’s annual Chapter Conference on Thursday, October 14, 2021.

“Great clients make great projects, and we celebrate these awards alongside the cities who have partnered with us,” said RDG Urban Planner, Cory Scott, AICP. “We hope the recognition of these communities highlights the kinds of initiatives that strengthen and help cities thrive.”

The work recognized represents a collaboration between RDG and the City of Bondurant (City Park Master Plan – Urban Design Award), the City of Des Moines and Douglas Avenue Coalition (Douglas Avenue Corridor Plan – Economic Development Planning Award) and the City of Peosta (Peosta Forward! Comprehensive Plan and Parks Master Plan – Best Practice Award).

The City of Bondurant City Park Master Plan aims to create a clear and concise direction for the future of Bondurant, Iowa’s historic City Park. RDG’s master plan evaluates the park’s current usage and presents a culturally and environmentally responsive design for the park’s future use. The City Park Master Plan received the APA Iowa Award for Urban Design, which honors efforts to create a sense of place, whether a street, public space, neighborhood, or campus effort.

The City of Bondurant City Park Master Plan in Bondurant, Iowa. Rendering by RDG.

The Douglas Avenue Corridor Plan addresses a set of intertwining challenges on an older commercial corridor in Des Moines, Iowa and takes a holistic approach in tackling these challenges to provide the community, Douglas Avenue Coalition, city, staff and partner organizations with a roadmap for a strong future. The plan received the APA Iowa Award for Economic Development Planning, which honors efforts to transform economies and stimulate economic development in communities of all sizes.

The Peosta Forward! Comprehensive Plan and Parks Master Plan offers a cohesive vision for the city of Peosta, Iowa to create a town center, increase housing variety, add green space and connect neighborhoods through trails and parks. The plan was honored with a Best Practice Award, which emphasizes results and demonstrates how innovative and state-of-the-art planning methods and practices help to create communities of lasting value.

Each year, APA-Iowa asks its members to nominate plans, projects, and individuals deserving recognition by the professional organization. Submissions are judged via an independent review by a jury of professional planners from an out-of-state APA chapter. As a professional organization, APA Iowa provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in community planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change. APA Iowa members consist of planners and other professionals involved in the development and sustainability of Iowa communities.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director