State Planning Awards

Each year the Louisiana Chapter recognizes the achievements of agencies, companies, groups, and individuals as they strive for excellence in the planning profession. Nominations are received each fall and an awards ceremony occurs during the annual State Planning Conference where winners are recognized by the Chapter President during a banquet luncheon. Award winners receive an award and and are featured in a multimedia presentation at the conference and in APA Louisiana publications. Press releases are made available to winners for distribution to local media. Award winners are selected from qualified applications through a peer jury review process. There is typically a fee for applying for most categories which is used to purchase acrylic awards and plaques, but this fee has been waived this year. The planning awards process is managed by the Louisiana Chapter's Information Officer who works closely with the Chapter President.

Awards Ceremony

Nominators of winning submissions will be notified confidentially prior to the conference so that arrangements can be made to ensure attendance of key individuals. Official announcements of the winning submissions will be made at the APA Louisiana Annual State Planning Conference. (See conference pages for date and location of the next State Planning Conference.)

Award Categories

General award categories include Planning Excellence, Planning Achievement (for an individual), Student awards, and Great Places in Louisiana recognition. See past award winners here.



Planning Excellence

Awards excellent plans, processes, implementation of plans or programs, education efforts and advocacy work. Student project awards are also included in this category. Learn more about the Planning Excellence Award for: 



Excellence Award For a Plan

For a comprehensive plan, or a separate plan that addresses a specific area such as a neighborhood, downtown, corridor, redevelopment area, or critical and sensitive area, or a specific topic such as transportation, housing, economic development, community facilities, parks and open space, or hazards mitigation; with an emphasis on plans that advance the science and art of planning.

Learn more

Apply Here

Excellence Award for a Process

For an initiative, program, or project that illustrates how a community uses citizen participation and the planning process to create a plan or realize an implementation strategy under the traditional scope of planning, or to address a need extending beyond the traditional scope of planning in new or different settings; with an emphasis on the involvement of people in the creation and management of their built and natural environments

Learn more

Apply Here

Excellence Award for Implementation

For a planning technology, program, project, or tool, such as a land development regulation, incentive, financial initiative, or similar measure, that is ensuring the realization of proposals advanced in a plan and accomplishing positive change with medium- to long-term, measurable results through continuous effect for a minimum of four years

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Apply Here



Planning Achievement

Provides individual recognition for leadership in the profession, enriching the quality of life for a community, and the lifetime achievement and President's awards. Learn more about the Planning Achievement Award for:

Enriching a Community's Quality of Life in Honor of Francis P. Keevers

For an individual, elected or appointed official, group, or organization that promotes planning through sustained commitment to a project, program or plan; addresses community concerns through special actions or significant contributions to planning initiatives; or demonstrates exceptional collaboration with diverse interests to improve a community’s quality of life. Honors the late Frank Keevers for his contributions to improving the quality of life of a community through civic and business endeavors.

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Apply Here

Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership

For a professional planner who earns or has earned their living in planning, who contributes significantly to the advancement of planning practice or academic education over a sustained period through exemplary leadership and substantial accomplishments, as a credit to the American Planning Association

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Apply Here

Elected Official

Elected official in National, State, or local government. 

Apply Here

Student Achievement

For an outstanding class project or paper by a student or group of students in a planning or related program that embodies good planning practice or applied research and contributes to advances in planning.

The APA-Louisiana Student Project Award recognizes outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students and intends to recognize exceptional work that advances the field of urban planning, work primarily by the student(s) with minimal, appropriate guidance by faculty. It is subject to the following eligibility and criteria:

Learn more

Apply Here

Education or Advocacy

For an individual, program, or project that uses information and advocates education about the value of planning to create greater awareness among citizens or the public and inspire interest and participation in planning

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Apply Here

Chapter Volunteer of the Year

Chapter leadership will nominate candidates that have made significant commitments to APA LA. Candidates do not need to be Officers.

Apply Here

Green Building Award (presented jointly with USGBC)

Apply Here



Great Places in Louisiana

APA LA seeks to identify places in our state which exemplify local character, quality of experience, and excellent planning. This program is modeled after APA's Great Places in America recognition program. The three "place" categories are:

  • Great Streets
  • Great Neighborhoods
  • Great Public Spaces

2023 Great Places Award Submissions - Contact your Section Division for Application Suggestions, or reach out to APA Louisiana Chapter Information Officer, Ashley Gremillion.

There is no application fee and nominations are made regionally, via Section Directors.

Recent Winners


Download a PDF of the 2022 Planning Awards Presentation


Download a PDF of the 2021 Planning Awards Presentation


Download a PDF of the 2020 Planning Awards Presentation


Download a PDF of the 2019 Partners in Planning Awards Presentation.


Download a PDF of the 2018 Partners in Planning Awards Presentation.


Download a PDF of the 2017 Planning Awards Presentation.


Download a PDF of the 2016 Planning Awards Presentation.


Download a PDF of the 2015 Planning Awards Presentation.


Download a PDF of the 2014 Partners in Planning Awards Presentation.

Information about awards from previous years are currently available within the records of past conferences. Search for Awards Presentation PowerPoints or PDFs.


Process Documentation

Our State Planning Awards process follows the procedures and guidelines outlined in the Report of the 2011 Awards Review Committee. This document outlines the processes and procedures adopted by the Chapter at that time. A similar guidelines document exists for the Great Places in Louisiana program, begun in 2013.


Specific Information About Award Categories