Plano recognized as Community of the Year by American Planning Association Texas Chapter

On Friday, the American Planning Association (APA) Texas Chapter presented the  Plano Planning Department with the Community of the Year and Long Range Planning Awards. Senior Planner Doug McDonald was honored with the Chapter President’s Award.

The Community of the Year Award is one of the most esteemed of the APA Texas Chapter awards. Receiving the award reaffirmed Plano’s commitment to the planning and redevelopment of the city. Plano award application documented the city’s efforts toward key areas. Those areas include economic growth; heritage preservation; environmental planning; community engagement and outreach; park, trail and bicycle improvements; community services; redevelopment studies and initiatives; thoroughfare and land use updates; long range planning and development review. It also highlighted on the city’s most notable neighborhood revitalization efforts: Love Where You Live and The Great Update Rebate.

The Long Range Planning Award was presented for the Downtown Plano Vision and Strategy Update. The city created this 10-year plan in February 2013 as a guiding document for those considering developing property or opening a business in Historic Downtown Plano. The plan provides a glimpse of projects currently underway to improve the area, including roadway renovations, development projects, a performance area in the McCall Plaza, and future projects such as the proposed Cotton Belt Rail Line.

The Chapter President’s Award was presented to Doug McDonald for his efforts to move the planning profession to the forefront while supporting the overall goals of the organization. McDonald joined the APA in 2006 and was elected to director of the Midwest Texas Section in 2011. In 2013, he was appointed as the section’s representative and currently sits on the Texas Chapter’s Executive Committee. In 2014, McDonald organized a steering committee to create the Texas Emerging Planning Leaders Committee to build and identify future planning profession leaders. He planned the inaugural Texas Leadership Forum and an Emerging Planning Leader educational track for the annual planning conference. He led efforts to create the state’s first ever Planning Mentorship Program. He has engaged the youth by actively participating in the Future Cities Competition, a national middle school program, and the Urban Land Institute’s Urban Plan Program, a national high school and university program. He began working as a senior planner in the Long Range Planning Division at city of Plano in October 2013.

Complete article here.