Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department Receives National Award

By: American Planning Association Email
By: American Planning Association Email

News Release: Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department

Washington, D.C. – The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department (TLCPD) will receive the 2014 National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Agency from the American Planning Association (APA). As a partnership between the City of Tallahassee and Leon County, Fla., the TLCPD has created dynamic planning programs that benefit the whole community and encourage coordination with and assistance to stakeholders.

The Planning Agency award honors the work of a public sector planning agency that has continually produced a program of exceptional work that has elevated awareness about planning.

“The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department’s vibrant and comprehensive approach to strategic redevelopment emphasizes citizen collaboration, thus encouraging planning awareness throughout the community,” said Ann C. Bagley, FAICP, 2014 APA Awards Jury chair. “The department’s enthusiasm for public engagement in the planning process has resulted in spaces that not only meet, but truly exceed residents’ expectations.”

In recent years, TLCPD has produced creative plans in specialized areas such as mobility, placemaking, and greenways. Their plans have converted areas struggling with redevelopment and functionality issues into aesthetically pleasing public spaces that engage residents and support local businesses.

“Our Planning Department has done an outstanding job of making our city an even better place to live, work and play,” said City of Tallahassee Mayor John Marks. “A key component of this success comes from the ongoing commitment to engage our citizens throughout the entire planning process.”

TLCPD recognizes the value of creating a “culture of community,” welcoming and implementing citizen input. Staff regularly participates in community meetings, workshops and open houses related to planning projects and neighborhood interests. The department actively recruits residents for citizen advisory committees, work groups and focus groups to seek mutually agreeable ideas and solutions. Additionally, TLCPD’s newly formed design studio, DesignWorks, offers free of charge, high-level technical assistance on urban design and site design for local property owners.

"The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department is dedicated to improving our community," said Leon County Commission Chairman Kristin Dozier. "Whether developing a greenways program or creating appealing locations through Placemaking, the department continues to help plan a better community for everyone, and most importantly, with everyone."

A snapshot of TLCPD’s specialized planning programs include:


  • Greenways Program: This program represents a resource-based approach that incorporates greenway and open space orientations into infrastructure design, provides additional areas dedicated for conservation and open recreational community space, and establishes natural connections between neighborhoods, schools, parks and historical sites.

  • Placemaking: TLCPD’s staff works closely with community groups and local associations in a collaborative process to ensure that specific neighborhood areas are restructured to foster citizens’ sense of stake and belonging in the community.

  • Bicycle Master Planning: This plan identifies new sidewalks, bike routes and other related facilities incorporating more than 70 miles of biking/pedestrian space and increases the number of signs for bike routes, trails and street intersections.


TLCPD staff also maintains a high level of professional training. More than 50 percent of the staff are AICP-certified planners and hold masters degrees or higher in planning and related fields. Many also lead or participate in continuing education opportunities at the local and state level.

TLCPD has received numerous awards including a Florida Planning and Zoning Association (FPZA) Award for Outstanding Design for the Urban Design Guidelines (2009) and a Florida American Planning Association Placemaking Award (2011).

TlCPD will receive the 2014 National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Agency during APA’s National Planning Conference in Atlanta at a special luncheon on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. TLCPD also will be featured in an upcoming issue of APA’s Planning magazine.

For a list of all of the APA 2014 National Planning Excellence and Achievement Award recipients, visit www.planning.org/awards/2014. 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.


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