It has been a great week for Planning NEXT as two of our projects received awards at the American Planning Association annual conference in San Francisco. The Elkhart County Vibrant Communities Action Agenda received the 2019 Vernon Deines Honor Award for Outstanding Comprehensive Plan or Special Project for a Large Jurisdiction. The Awards Committee appreciated the context and approach used during the process to create collective action for the County as a whole and the towns within it. The clarity of the Action Agenda’s implementation plan and creative engagement efforts were also commended. Congratulations to all in Elkhart County who supported the efforts to create a unique, viable Action Agenda for Elkhart County communities.

In addition, the Gold 2019 National Planning Achievement Award for Implementation was given to the City of Shaker Heights by the American Planning Association for its continued efforts to establish growth and development in the City’s Van Aken District. Shaker Heights attributes much of the District’s success to the Strategic Investment Plan developed in 2000. Planning NEXT was fortunate to be a part of this process as subconsultants to Urban Design Associates. Over the years, Planning NEXT’s relationship with Shaker Heights has grown and Forward Together, the current visioning process for the future of their community facilities, is the firm’s fourth project with the City. Congratulations to Shaker Heights, Urban Design Group, and all who have helped foster growth and continued success in the Van Aken District!

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