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Excellence in Planning Awards

Recognizing excellence in all its forms, OPPI has celebrated professional planners and outstanding projects annually through the Excellence in Planning Awards, since 2001.

To ensure that we are celebrating and elevating the role of Registered Professional Planners (RPPs) to the best of our ability, the Institute is taking a valuable hiatus in 2018 to reflect on the awards process and determine the best approach moving forward.

Our aim is to promote the understanding, value and credibility of the designation, especially in light of Bill 122 and its progression. The awards will evolve into a clear reflection of that goal. We will update this section when a new process has been developed and the next awards season has been confirmed.

In the meantime, please explore the recent 2018 Award Winners below:

HOK (Client: Public Works Government Services Canada)

Tunney's Pasture Master Plan
District: Eastern District

The Tunney’s Pasture Master Plan creates an environment that effectively responds to an existing urban fabric with significant heritage, adapts to long-term market conditions and creates an intensified, sustainable and mixed-use transit-oriented community. The Master Plan also represents a significant milestone in the Federal Government’s real estate portfolio; as one of the largest federal employment nodes in the Canada, it will set an important precedent for the redevelopment of other government-owned urban lands - including those within the provincial and municipal levels of government.

Dillon Consulting, RCI Consulting, City of Welland, BNC Inc.

Downtown Welland Revitalization
District: Western Lake Ontario District

In 2013, the City of Welland embarked on an ambitious plan to completely regenerate and revitalize its downtown core and adjacent health and wellness district. The City’s program includes two main vehicles for revitalization:

1. Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for the Downtown and Health and Wellness Cluster; and,
2. City-wide Urban Design Guidelines
The CIP promotes building and property revitalization, reinforces Downtown as a mixed use, transit supportive area, and encourages uses in the Health and Wellness Cluster that build on and strengthen Welland's existing health and wellness uses and resources. The Urban Design Guidelines provide a practical and flexible tool for assessing new development and redevelopment in the City, including the Downtown and the Health and Wellness Area. The City’s Urban Design Guidelines were prepared in parallel to the CIP project – effectively the two projects were undertaken in an integrated fashion.

Town of Oakville

“inZone Project,” the Town of Oakville’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review
District: Western Lake Ontario District

Oakville’s inZone Project was the preparation of the town's new Zoning By-law 2014-014. inZone implemented the policies of the new official plan, the Livable Oakville Official Plan, into a new zoning framework. The end result of the inZone project was Council’s unanimous passing of a new Zoning By-law 2014-014 alongside a number of significant innovations for consultation, customer service, and information management related to land use regulation in Ontario.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

The Living City Policies for Planning and Development in the Watersheds of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
District: Toronto District

The Living City Policies for Planning and Development in the Watersheds of the TRCA (LCP) is a conservation authority policy document that guides the implementation of TRCA’s legislated and delegated roles and responsibilities in the planning and development approvals process. Comparable to a combined municipal official plan and zoning by-law, the LCP represents a compilation of existing plan and permit review policies and practices that have evolved over time. It also contains new policies related to TRCA programs, scientific research, and external planning and development initiatives. The LCP’s purpose is to: guide TRCA review of planning applications and environmental assessments; provide the basis for approving permit applications under the Conservation Authorities Act; inform TRCA’s advocacy role for The Living City in the planning and development process; and assist and enable our partners’ and stakeholders’ contributions to building The Living City.

Toronto Public Health with Gladki Planning Associates, DTAH, City of Toronto Planning, City of Toronto Transportation Services

Active City: Designing for Health
District: Toronto District

Gladki Planning Associates partnered with DTAH to develop an educational document for Toronto Public Health on the salubrious role of urban design. Entitled Active City: Designing for Health, it drew on academic research and a number of design case studies of successful projects in Toronto and around the world to make the case for prioritizing cycling and walking in urban design interventions of all scales. Endorsed by Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown, Chief Planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, and General Manager of Transportation, Stephen Buckley, Active City followed a process that brought together and engaged staff from a number of City departments.

Niagara Region

Imagine Niagara
District: Western Lake Ontario District

In 2013, Niagara Region kicked off their 5 Year Review of its Official Plan with the goal of receiving substantial public comments to support the policy direction for Niagara. The Plan was branded “Imagine Niagara” and easy to understand categories were developed to transform, what could have been a complex planning exercise, into a relatable visioning exercise. To engage residents, Niagara Region went into the community using engagement tools, such as YouTube videos, surveys, "meet and greets" at popular local venues, Facebook advertising and Twitter. We found that Facebook ads and videos worked beyond our expectations (well beyond) to get valuable and informed feedback on planning issues. On a project that typically garners very little interest, we had the highest number of engaged citizens in Niagara Region for any Regional project. The substantial feedback tells us we are on the right track and aligned with the Regional community’s priorities and hopes.