San Diego, CA–In recognition of its forward-thinking and innovative initiatives benefiting San Diegans, the City of San Diego was honored with five awards from the local chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) at a virtual ceremony held Thursday evening.
Demonstrating its perseverance to continue outreach efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s Planning Department received the Planning Agency Award, Best Practice Award, and the Environmental Planning Award. These awards will be forwarded for consideration in the APA California Chapter Awards in the fall.
“We are honored and privileged to be recognized for the achievements our department has worked long and hard to accomplish,” said Mike Hansen, director of the City Planning Department. “More importantly, we are proud to be implementing projects and initiatives that will be life-changing for our residents and create a more successful San Diego in the future.”
The San Diego section of the APA (SDAPA) is an organization that includes more than 500 regional planners.
For the Planning Agency Award, SDAPA recognized the city for increasing outreach and engagement in creative ways, for implementing planning policies that other cities nationwide are using as a model, and for its efforts to prioritize investments where they are needed most. Some of the projects that contributed to the award include the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Heritage Street Promenade and updates to the city’s local density bonus program.
The General Plan Housing Element earned the Best Practice Award for the city. The department was the first jurisdiction in the state to tackle the 6th Cycle Housing Element, which creates an action plan for the development of more than 100,000 new housing units at all income levels.
In the Environmental Planning Award category, the city was recognized for Complete Communities Housing Solutions and Mobility Choices. Mobility Choices aims to connect every San Diegan with safe and convenient mobility and helps implement the Climate Action Plan (CAP). Housing Solutions is an opt-in incentive program that will help the city meet its state-mandated housing targets for affordable housing and CAP goals by incentivizing the construction of housing in multi-family and mixed-use commercial areas served by transit.
Additionally, the Mission Boulevard Public Spaces and Active Transportation Plan won the Transportation Planning merit award and the Kearny Mesa Community Plan Update received the merit award in the Comprehensive Plan Large Jurisdiction category.
The SDAPA awards are the most recent accolades the department has received over the past few months. In June, the San Diego Housing Federation awarded the department, along with the Homelessness Strategies and Development Services departments, with a Ruby Award for Outstanding Government Agency. The Ruby Awards recognizes extraordinary achievements in affordable housing development, community development, public policy, and housing advocacy.