APA National Planning Excellence Award
Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is proud to announce that the Our Parks, Our Future Long-Range Plan has won a 2021 National Planning Excellence Award from the American Planning Association (APA). APA’s National Planning Awards program recognizes outstanding planning efforts that help lead communities forward to a stronger, more equitable, and sustainable future. Award recipients are selected by a jury of planning practitioners and only one award recipient is selected in each of the four award categories.
PARD's Long Range Plan provides a blueprint to guide land acquisition, capital improvements, and the development of programs and new amenities. The planning effort began with inventory, evaluation of park and facilities, an analysis of demographic data, and trends and industry standards for parks. Public outreach played a critical role throughout the process with in-depth engagement of citizens, park supporters, conservancies, neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations, and public partners.
“Austin’s Parks and Rec plan illustrates the vital importance of public and green space within a community, but also demonstrates how those spaces must be accessible to all members of the community regardless of race, ability, or gender,” said Kristen Asp, AICP, 2021 APA awards jury chair. “The jury was impressed with the strong level of accountability built into the plan so the community continues to be part of the planning process.”