Awards for Excellence in Planning

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Awards for Excellence in Planning

These awards honour the best in professional planning work undertaken by members in communities and regions across British Columbia and the Yukon and PIBC encourages nominations and submissions for excellence in planning in any one of the following five categories:

Research & New Directions in Planning

The Research & New Directions category includes original studies, reports, or papers that show thorough examination of a planning issue, policy or practice using analytical methods that support original findings that are of value to the profession. Submissions in this category may include investigations on a wide variety of planning topics from a local, regional, national or global perspective. Submissions should include a description of the research methodology, key findings and how the results are of importance to the profession.

Excellence in Policy Planning*
Small Town & Rural Areas, OR City & Urban Areas

The Excellence in Policy Planning categories seeks to honour the development and application of leading-edge planning policy. Submissions should include examples of effective initiatives and solutions that enhance the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities. The areas of excellence may be in environmental planning, social planning, transportation planning, climate change, and public consultation to name a few. Small town and rural area submissions, or city and urban area submissions, in this category could include Official Community Plans, regional plans, impact analyses or strategic plans.

*NOTE: Small town and rural areas are typically those with a population under 80,000, or outside a larger urban center or metropolitan area, whereas city and urban areas are typically those with a population of 80,000 or above, or within a larger urban center or metropolitan area. Submitters should identify the size of the population in the community/region for which the plan or policy initiative was developed as part of their submission.

Excellence in Policy Planning*
Small Town & Rural Areas, OR City & Urban Areas

The Excellence in Planning Practice categories recognize the efforts of planners to turn policy into reality, whether it is crafting a new urban space, protecting the industrial land base, using community partnerships to secure funding for much needed projects, engaging the public with creative approaches or new directions in project management.  Submissions in this category should highlight the inventive ways that planners are creating transformative change through ground-breaking actions. Small town and rural area submissions, or city and urban area submissions, in this category could include design guidelines, zoning by-laws, development permit guidelines and regulatory requirements, prohibitions and limitations consistent with and illustrating the direct implementation of official community plans, park plans, and other planning policy endorsed by Council or the Regional Board.

*NOTE:  Small town and rural areas are typically those with a population under 80,000, or outside a larger urban center or metropolitan area, whereas city and urban areas are typically those with a population of 80,000 or above, or within a larger urban center or metropolitan area. Submitters should identify the size of the population in the community/region for which the plan or policy initiative was developed as part of their submission

These categories are reviewed each year by the Awards Committee to ensure their relevance to current planning practice. On an annual basis the Committee may amend existing categories or develop new categories accordingly.

Awards for Excellence in Planning – Evaluation Criteria:

These criteria apply to all submissions but will receive different weighting depending on the submission and category.

Innovation – Brings forward a new approach that has not yet been seen; and provides an original take on existing practice.

Transferability – Principles can be applied to many diverse planning scenarios and at several scales; offers ways in which it could be transferred to other locales, scopes, and regulatory or legislative structures; and can be used by different elements of planning practice (e.g.: social planning, development planning, etc.).

Contribution to the profession – Contributes to improving the standards of practice for the profession as a whole; brings attention and awareness of the Planning profession to new audiences; and evidences significant collaboration between planning and other disciplines.

Public process* – Engages stakeholders and/or the general public in meaningful ways; uses creative and appropriate engagement tools and techniques; and demonstrates the integration of the information gathered from the public process.

Implementation* – Has received the approval of relevant decision-making bodies (Council, Board, community group, etc…); and has a clear, thorough, and effective implementation strategy, including elements such as monitoring and evaluation, where applicable.

Sustainability – Demonstrates a deliberate integration of all aspects of sustainability (economic, cultural, social, environmental), as applicable to the scope and breadth of each project; and evidences incorporation of sustainability in original ways.

Overall presentation  – Submission is complete and summary is within page limitation; is well organized and ideas are clearly articulated; and the combination of text and graphics is appropriate, reasoned and organized in a clear manner.

NOTE: For the category, Research & New Directions in Planning, Research dissemination and Research methods will be additional criteria against which project submissions will be evaluated. Where appropriate, these criteria will be considered in lieu of Implementation and Public process.

Awards for Excellence in Planning – Eligibility Criteria:

Entries are encouraged from PIBC members with the following stipulations: 

- The project must have been prepared by or under the direction of a Certified (RPP), Fellow, or Candidate Member in good standing of PIBC.

- The submission must represent a completed plan, design, policy or research study.

- The project must have started during the preceding two years and have been:

  • sanctioned by a board, council, planning department, educational institution, or firm, but not necessarily formally adopted by resolution, bylaw, or other legislation; or
  • implemented through physical construction; or
  • published by a recognized publisher or public agency.

- Nominators must select the most appropriate category for their submission.

- Nominators must provide basic budget information for their submission. Additional information may be requested for clarification purposes.

- Letters of endorsement may be included but are not mandatory.

- No amendments to a nomination will be allowed after the submission deadline.

- An individual project may be submitted only once. However, nominating organizations and individuals may be associated with award submissions for multiple projects.

Awards for Excellence in Planning – Entry Requirements:

- Completed Online Submission Form (entered through the online submission system

- Award submission summary document (maximum 10 pages) describing the merits of the entry and how it meets the award criteria, and including appended letters of support (must be in PDF format only).

- Additional relevant supporting or descriptive document(s), including plans, illustrations and supporting materials (must be in PDF format only).

- A maximum of three (3) high-resolution, print-quality visual electronic images illustrating the nominated entry (must be in JPG format only).

- Other display materials for presentation purposes may be requested from nominator(s) prior to the awards presentation ceremony.

- All entry material shall become the property of the Planning Institute of British Columbia and shall be available to PIBC for reproduction, posting or distribution

Jury & Submissions:

The Awards Jury for all PIBC awards is composed of a Committee of several experienced Institute members, appointed by the PIBC Board of Directors, representing a variety of planning backgrounds from across British Columbia and the Yukon. A Sub-Committee acts as the jury for each type of award.

Jury members cannot evaluate or vote on nominations for projects in which they directly participated or those submitted by the department or firm in which they are currently employed.

Awards for Excellence in Planning Sub-Committee Members (2018):

  • Emilie Adin MCIP, RPP – City of North Vancouver
  • Anthony Kittel MCIP, RPP - City of Toronto
  • Neal LaMontagne MCIP, RPP - UBC Campus & Community Planning
  • Leanne Taylor MCIP, RPP - City of Victoria
  • Margaret-Ann Thornton MCIP, RPP – Fraser Valley Regional District
  • Lynn Wilson MCIP, RPP – Capital Regional District
  • Mary Wong MCIP, RPP - Dalhousie University
  • Raymond Young MCIP, RPP - Lawyer, QC

Submissions:  The presentation of all awards is based on submissions received. The Awards Jury may choose to not present awards or to present more than one award in each category, as deemed appropriate.

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