RDG Receives Multiple Honors for Design Excellence in Community Planning

March 25, 2020
Community & Regional Planning

As an acknowledgment of excellence in planning for project work and individual contributions to the profession, the firm wins three awards at the 2020 NPZA Conference. 

RDG Planning & Design received three awards at the Nebraska Planning and Zoning Association Conference on March 6, 2020. The conference brings together planning and zoning professionals and citizen planners throughout the state. At the conference’s awards ceremony, RDG was recognized for excellence and innovation in planning, for both project work and for individual contributions to the profession. 

RDG Principal Marty Shukert, FAICP was recognized with APA Nebraska’s highest honor of service, the Wozniak-Selander Planning Pioneer Award. This award honors pioneers of the profession whose personal and direct innovations in American planning have significantly and positively advanced planning practice, education or theory with long-term results. Throughout his more than 40-year career, Shukert has helped shape major downtown and neighborhood development projects, including Omaha’s riverfront redevelopment and downtown housing programs. 

Pictured above from left to right is RDG Principal Martin Shukert, FAICP and APA NE President Jeffrey Ray, AICP.

“For as long as I’ve worked with him, Marty has immersed himself into every community, getting to know the pulse of the city by talking with its citizens, patronizing its local stores and restaurants, even riding every street on his bicycle. He works tirelessly to know every community as if he were a resident himself, and this deep-dive approach has led to pioneering solutions for cities across the state and the country,” said RDG Principal Amy Haase, AICP.

The two projects recognized at the ceremony represent planning solutions for cities in Nebraska: the Grand Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and the Historic South 10th Street Neighborhood Plan. The Grand Island Plan was awarded the Transportation Planning Award in recognition of its efforts to increase transportation choices for all populations, reduce dependence on private automobiles and mitigate the impact of climate change. The first comprehensive active transportation program for Nebraska’s fourth-largest city, the Grand Island plan proposes an integrated network connecting major community destinations including parks, commercial districts and employment centers with neighborhoods.

Concept image for the Grand Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, which proposes a variety of trail support facilities, with features that reflect the role of individual locations in the overall system. Image by RDG.

The Historic South 10th Street Plan, an advocacy planning effort completed in partnership with a coalition of neighborhood organizations, received the Grassroots Initiative Award, which honors work that illustrates how a neighborhood, community group or other local non-governmental entity has utilized the planning process to address a specific need or issue within the community.

Concept image for the Historic South 10th Street, which incorporates bike lanes, curb extensions and pedestrian refuge medians to improve street quality in a multi-generational neighborhood. Image by RDG.

The Plan’s primary aim is to help a historic mixed-density neighborhood in near-downtown Omaha, Nebraska articulate a clear vision of its future as a place for urban families, and to act rather than be acted upon. RDG’s plan uses context-sensitive design for a new school as well as a private development that preserves character and maintains a variety of housing types. 

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director