Ends on September 30, 2019

The New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NJ) is pleased to announce its 2019 Planning Excellence Awards. These awards will honor planning initiatives, built projects, individuals and organizations that are in the forefront of planning and design in New Jersey.

Award Categories

Leadership Awards

  • Stuart Meck Distinguished Service Award:  To an APA-NJ member who has advanced the mission of the Chapter by consistently and freely giving of themselves to the Executive Committee or Chapter initiatives.
  • Distinguished Civic Leadership Award:  To an elected official or citizen planning advocate who has advanced sound planning in the public arena. A citizen planning advocate can be a lay member of a planning board, board of adjustment, economic development board, other appointed official, activist, neighborhood leader or head of a community development organization.
  • Budd Chavooshian Award for Outstanding Professional Planner:  To a professional planner for sustained contributions to the profession through distinguished practice, teaching or writing.
  • James W. Hughes Applied Research Award:  To an individual or organization whose applied research has affected change in New Jersey, as the substantive basis for legislative, regulatory or policy change, or as the driver of a shift in a fundamental approach to planning.
  • Distinguished Emerging Planner Award:  To a professional planner, 35 years or younger, who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to leadership, professional development and the advancement of the field of planning in New Jersey.

Project Awards

  • Outstanding Plan Award:  To a plan of unusually high merit. Examples include, but are not limited to neighborhood, economic development, conservation, transportation and other comprehensive plans. Technical reports and site plans are not eligible for this award.  
  • Outstanding Implementation Award:  To a specific planning project or initiative of unusually high merit for which there are demonstrated “on-the ground” results that are supported by documentable physical or social change.
  • Outstanding Community Engagement or Education Award:  To a planning project or initiative that has involved, or resulted in significant advancement of community comprehension of planning issues or outcomes.  Examples include, but are not limited to publications, interactive project websites, public planning and design charrettes or seminars.
  • Outstanding Student Project Award: To outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students that contribute to advances in the field of planning. The submission should be primarily the work of the students and based in New Jersey.  The students may be from any secondary education institution.


Any plan, project, program, process, or report entered must have been published, implemented, or completed within three years of the date of submission. Individuals, plans, programs, projects, and reports are ineligible to receive the same award twice.

Nominators must select the most appropriate category for the submission, and may not submit the same project for multiple awards. Changes will not be allowed by the nominator after the submission deadline. The awards jury may move a submission from an inappropriate category to another category.

Judging:  Nominators of submissions will be notified of the jury's decision by October. Official announcements of the winning submissions will be made after all nominators have been notified. Awards will only be made in the stated categories; however, jurors are under no obligation to grant an award in any category and may choose to make multiple awards in a single category. The Awards Jury's procedures prohibit any communication with jurors on behalf of a nominee, except that the Chair may contact a nominator to clarify information contained in a submission. 

Originality:  The extent to which the submission presents a visionary approach or innovative concept that results in a meaningful advance to planning.

Transferability:  The extent to which there are potential applications in other areas or to other projects. In the case of an individual, to what extent does his or her work increase understanding of sound planning principles?

Quality:  To what extent is there excellence of thought, analysis, writing, graphics and sound planning principles?

Implementation:  To what extent is the project effective as evidenced by its degree of post-completion or post-adoption activity? In the case of an individual, to what extent has s/he been effective based on the implementation of her/his plans or ideas?

Comprehensiveness:  To what extent have sound planning principles been observed, especially in consideration of the project/person's effect on other public objectives?

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  Monday, September 30, 2019