The American Planning Association (APA) Iowa Chapter announced recently its juried selection of 2023 Planning Award winners. The City of Waverly and planning team of MSA Professional Services, Inc. (MSA), Toole Design and Councilman-Hunsaker were together chosen to receive the Best Practice Award for the City of Waverly Multi-Community Plan Updates and Collaborative Engagement project.
The Best Practice Award recognizes innovative and state-of-the-art planning methods and practices that emphasize ingenuity and create communities of lasting value. Nominations from across Iowa were reviewed by an out-of-state jury and appraised on a variety of achievements including originality and innovation; implementation and transferability; public engagement; effectiveness and results.
The winning entry for the City of Waverly involved the development of four individual planning documents linked by a single overarching public engagement program and interactive community participation tools. The four documents — a Comprehensive Plan update, new Bike and Pedestrian Plan, new Park and Open Space Plan and new Memorial Park Master Plan — were developed to overlap and allow the planning team to synchronize visioning exercises, public input meetings and plan reviews for a more efficient use of time and resources. The project focused on accessibility and promoting participation from diverse and traditionally underrepresented groups. All four Waverly plans were formally adopted by the City Council on February 20, 2023.
“We are all truly honored to receive the APA Iowa Best Practice Award for this endeavor,” remarked Chris Janson, AICP, Senior Planning Team Leader at MSA. “The project methodology optimized opportunities for plan overlap and was able to realize substantial time efficiencies, cost-savings and increased public participation as a result. We commend the City for trusting us throughout the process and are thrilled to deliver a quartet of plans that will guide Waverly successfully into the future.”
Award winners were formally recognized at the APA Upper Midwest Annual Conference award banquet October 12, 2023, in Cedar Falls.
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