City Planning

Plan Cincinnati Wins National Award

Jan. 22

Plan Cincinnati coverPlan Cincinnati Receives Prestigious National Award For Comprehensive Plan

Plan Cincinnati, adopted by the City Council in November 2012 as the first comprehensive plan for the city in more than 30 years, will receive the prestigious 2014 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan from the American Planning Association (APA).

The Daniel Burnham Award recognizes a comprehensive plan that advances the art and science of planning. The award honors America's most famous planner, Daniel Burnham, for his contributions to the planning profession and to a greater awareness of the benefits of good planning. Plan Cincinnati is one of two recipients receiving this award this year.

With the goal of developing walkable districts that integrate a mix of uses, Plan Cincinnati focuses on revitalizing Cincinnati's traditional neighborhood centers while improving its residents' physical health and quality of life.

In a shift from conventional comprehensive plans, Plan Cincinnati is organized around five initiatives -- Compete, Connect, Live, Sustain and Collaborate. The result is action-oriented, but defines future land use in a conceptual manner.

"The plan represents what is possible with a cohesive planning department leading the planning process," said Ann C. Bagley, FAICP, 2014 APA Awards Jury Chair. "Plan Cincinnati is a strong symbol of the city planning department’s revival, demonstrating the vital role of planners in guiding a community’s future."

The planning staff engaged in a "process of discovery" to guide the plan’s direction. The resulting plan is one created through partnerships, working groups and neighborhood summits.

Community engagement sessionsNearly 40 people from neighborhood organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and institutions were appointed to the steering committee and provided oversight of the process. The steering committee has since transitioned into an implementation committee, which the public is invited to join.

"Cincinnati, whose planning department was reinstated in 2008, now has a plan for its future based on modernization without suburbanization," said Charles C. Graves III, Director of the Department of City Planning. "The plan is an active part of Cincinnati. Ordinances and contracts as well as capital budgets must be aligned with the plan."

Plan Cincinnati is a living plan that guides the city's future. It was created to represent what makes Cincinnati work, which is its traditional neighborhoods and urbanity, but is structured to adapt and evolve along with the city.

The goals, strategies and tasks of the plan are its measurable and implementable parts, which will be reviewed and adjusted as the city continues to change.

The 2014 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan will be presented at a special awards luncheon held during APA’s National Planning Conference in Atlanta on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

In addition to Plan Cincinnati, the Legacy 2030 Comprehensive Plan from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is also being recognized with a Daniel Burnham Award. Both award recipients will be profiled in Planning magazine, APA's flagship publication.

To view all of the APA 2014 National Planning Excellence and Achievement Award recipients, visit APA's national awards program, the profession’s highest honor, is a proud tradition established more than 50 years ago to recognize outstanding community plans, planning programs and initiatives, public education efforts, and individuals for their leadership on planning issues.

About The American Planning Association

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning -- physical, economic and social -- so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Ill. For more information, visit

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