Join Now

APA Utah News & Events

APAUT AWARDS – Call For Nominations

August 14, 2022 by Nicole Mason

American Planning Association Utah Chapter

2022 Awards Program

FULL PACKET HERE: 2022 Awards Information and Nomination Application Packet final



The American Planning Association Utah Chapter (APA Utah) is accepting nominations for awards to recognize plans, projects, programs, and individuals that are making a significant contribution to planning in Utah. Awards help recognize and reward those furthering planning practice in Utah and encourage others to learn from and incorporate lessons learned from outstanding planning efforts. The APA Utah strongly encourages planners to apply, share your story, your lessons learned, and let’s build planning practice in Utah! It is the intention of the APA Utah to promote these award winners throughout the year, following announcement of award recipients at a special Virtual Awards Celebration Event scheduled for October 17, 2022.

I: Award Type

The APA Utah presents its annual planning awards under two basic classifications: Project Awards and Individual Awards.

Project Awards are awarded for projects that involve one or more groups of collaborators. Project awards can be submitted under three different nominee categories: Public Agencies, Consultant-supported Public Agencies, and Students. Nominations for project awards must indicate which of the three nominee categories they fall under. Project awards are given at two levels, High Achievement Awards and Merit Awards.

Individual Awards are given to individuals for exceptional contributions to planning in Utah.

  1. Project Awards 

High Achievement Awards represent projects that make an exceptional contribution to planning in Utah and merit recognition of the highest achievement.

Merit Awards represent projects that have furthered planning in Utah and merit recognition from the Utah community.

Awards are not necessarily given annually, but only when warranted. The Awards Jury may allow multiple awards within a category to distinctly different but qualified nominations. The awards jury may announce a High Achievement Award and/or a Merit Award in any of the project categories. All nominations must specify a nominee category.

III. Nominee Categories 

Public Agency: A public agency such as a city, town, county, special district, or unincorporated community engaged in a planning project while relying primarily on in-house staff and resources.

Consultant-supported Public Agency: A consultant supported public agency such as a city, town, county, special district, or unincorporated community engaged in a planning project while relying extensively on the services and resources of a private consultant.

Student or Student Group: A student, group of students, or class enrolled in a Utah-based academic program engaged in a planning project while relying minimally on the support and resources of their faculty advisor or instructor.

  1. Project Categories 


Regional Plan or Other Regional Project 

Awarded for a collaborative plan or other type of project that is conducted by two or more organizations resulting in a coordinated effort across jurisdictional boundaries, addressing concerns such as environmental quality, transportation, economic development, public health, social equity, or land use. The plan shall have been adopted by the jurisdiction at the time of the nomination.


Comprehensive General Plan (New or Update)

Awarded for a document containing a set of land‐use policy statements for a jurisdiction. Policies should be related to specific planning elements, guided to implementation by goals and objectives as provided in the Utah Land Use, Development and Management Act. The plan shall have been adopted by the jurisdiction at the time of the nomination. Awarded to the following:


  • Public Agency
  • Consultant-supported Public Agency
  • Student or Student Group Regional Plan or Other Regional Project Comprehensive General Plan (New or Update) Individual General Plan Element (New or Update) Master Plan or Study.


Individual General Plan Element (New or Update) 

Awarded for an update or addition to an existing General Plan affecting only a portion of the total document. At a minimum, this update shall impact one General Plan element related to a specific planning element, guided to implementation by goals and objectives as provided in the Utah Land Use, Development Management Act. The plan element shall have been adopted by the jurisdiction at the time of the nomination.


Master Plan or Study 

Awarded for a completed public or private project that presents a concept, problem, or site-specific plan. The plan or study complements and enhances the existing community and may include buildings, structures, streets, signage, landscaping, trails, and natural open space. A nomination may be a plan or study of a commercial center or mall, civic center or plaza, public art installation, educational campus, residential neighborhood, or of an archetypal concept such as environmental sustainability, mixed use, or smart growth.



Awarded for an adopted land use-related ordinance, regulation, or legislation that provides specific policies, standards, and an implementation process to guide development or land use within a jurisdiction. The ordinance, regulation, or legislations shall have been adopted by the jurisdiction at the time of the nomination.


Public Engagement 

Awarded for a public engagement project or program that involves exceptional or creative opportunities for public input through engagement, outreach, education, and/or training to engage with and participate in planning issues, processes, and legal fundamentals. A nomination may be made for outstanding educational publications or training materials, as well.


Information Technology or Media 

Awarded for the innovative or unique use of information technology (e.g., video or computer) or to a public media source in Utah used in the advancement of planning practice to cover a planning-related topic or to illustrate and explain a planning project or concept.


Community Resiliency 

Awarded for work led by Utah-based planners or planning students/faculty that promotes community resiliency in a recovery context – either in response to a long term or ongoing threat or post-recovery to a specific event. Nominations are expected to demonstrably emphasize community partnerships, capacity building, and robust, equitable community development.


Environmental Planning 

Awarded in recognition of efforts to create sustainable communities that help reduce the impact of development on the natural environment and measurable improve environmental quality and health. Successful entries could include climate action plans; sustainability plans; green infrastructure plans or implementation; resource conservation plans; alternative energy programs; and adding sustainable measures into development codes.



Awarded in recognition of an effort that demonstrates a significant achievement for an area, including both a single community and a region, in accomplishing positive changes as a result of planning. This award emphasizes long-term, measurable results and typically begins with an adopted plan and moves through various phases of project design, construction, and final implementation.


Special Recognition 

Awarded for a project, plan, program, or other planning-related contribution that does not fit within a stated category may be nominated under this Special Recognition Category. The nomination must explain how the project, plan, program, or contribution is unique from the stated categories and the reasons for which it is deserving of an award.


  1. Individual Awards 

Individual Awards recognize individuals for outstanding contributions to planning in Utah. These awards are not necessarily granted every year but are reserved for extraordinary work or effort. This is especially true of the named awards. The named awards (Morris Johnson, Gene Moser, Gene Carr, and George Smeath) should only be given when an individual rises to the level of accomplishment set and exemplified by the namesake.

Meritorious Planner Award. Awarded to a professional planner in recognition of significant and unique contributions to the profession through distinguished practice while employed in Utah.

Elected Official Award. Awarded to a currently sitting or former elected public official in Utah for a significant contribution to excellence and leadership in public planning.

Morris Johnson Award. Awarded to an individual who has made significant and unique contributions to planning in Utah over an extended period. This is a Lifetime Achievement Award with nominations to come from the APA Utah Executive Board.

Gene Moser Award. Awarded to a person who is neither a professional planner nor an elected official for a significant contribution to excellence in planning. Nominees may be a commissioner, member of a development board, other appointed official or interested citizen, living, and working in Utah.

Gene Carr Award. Awarded to an individual for outstanding contributions to planning education or training in Utah.

George Smeath Planning Student Award. Awarded to a student enrolled in an academic planning program in Utah for outstanding achievement during the nominee’s academic career. This may be awarded to a student during enrollment in a planning program or within 2 years of graduation.


VI: Evaluation Criteria 

Successful nominations will score on the following evaluation criteria. Section III provides instructions for preparing a nomination.

High Achievement Awards and Merit Awards The criteria for project-based awards are as follows:

  • Originality – Specify the project’s visionary approach or innovative concepts that resulted in a meaningful advance in planning.
  • Purpose and Need – Describe how the project met the purpose or need from which it arose.
  • Comprehensiveness – Describe how the project addresses the planning issue(s) in its (or their) entirety, within the scope of the award applied to.
  • Public Participation – Discuss how the public participated in the development of this program, project, or study, and how participation was obtained. Describe public input process techniques used and the rationale for the method(s) used.
  • Transferability – Describe lessons learned, what worked, what did not, and what should be done differently next time. Discuss the potential to apply the project in other jurisdictions or projects to achieve the same or similar planning goals.
  • Implementation – What is the level of effectiveness of the project as evidenced by the degree of post‐completion or post‐adoption activity or acceptance? What local support is there for the implementation of the project?

Individual Awards 

The criteria for Individual Awards varies, based on which award an individual is being nominated for. In general, however, the Awards Committee will look at the following specific criteria:

  • Exceptional Practice – Specify how the nominee’s work stands out and is truly extraordinary.
  • Commitment – Demonstrate how the nominee has consistently and diligently worked to support good planning and making great communities happen in Utah. Longevity of service may be one indication of commitment, but candidates should demonstrate commitment in other ways, as well.
  • Leadership – Describe how the nominee has used their leadership skills to guide and encourage others to promote excellence in planning.
  • Effectiveness and Results – Describe how the nominee has been effective in formulating and implementing plans and ideas in support of good planning in Utah. Identify the level of influence and effectiveness achieved by the nominee.
  • Innovation – Specify how the nominee has been innovative and creative in accomplishing their work.


VII: Submission Instructions 

A submission shall be entered into only one category. Applications must be submitted to the Awards Jury using the appropriate official Nomination Form found in this document. Forms must be signed by the nominator.

Applications shall include two references other than the nominator who are qualified to comment on the contributions of the project submission or individual nominee. A physical address for the nominee must be provided for mailing of physical awards.

Individuals are not allowed to nominate themselves for Individual Awards.

Applications must include the following:

  • Nomination Form – Please complete the appropriate official nomination form.
  • Abstract – Write an abstract for your project or individual nomination in 25 words or less. State briefly why the nomination is worthy of recognition.
  • Summary – Briefly summarize the nomination in 100 words or less.
  • Criteria Responses – Briefly respond to each criterion listed for a Project or Individual award. Responses for each criterion must not exceed 200 words.
  • Project Resources – Provide project budget, timeline, and additional resources used to complete the project. Limited to 50 words or less.
  • Attachments – You are welcome to include graphics, photographs, or URLs as part of your application.
  • Image Copyright Release Form – If you are submitting copyrighted images or photographs, please include the image copyright release form included in this application packet.
  • Format – All nominations must be submitted electronically, in PDF format, not to exceed 25 MB.
  • Poster Display – Nominator or Nominees selected to receive a High Achievement Award may provide at a Spring or Fall Conference, a poster display of no more than two posters (24”x 36”) that illustrate the submission. The nominator of a nominee that is selected to receive an Individual Award shall provide an 8”x 10” mounted photograph of the nominee. The illustrations will remain on display for the duration of the conferences. Award recipients may also be invited to participate in conference sessions to further highlight projects and individuals receiving awards. Awards will be highlighted on the Utah APA website.

QUESTIONS? Please Contact:

Kirsten Whetstone, AICP




APA Utah is Powered by

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors