Miami 21 Wins The American Planning Association (APA) 2011 National Planning Excellence Award

MIAMI – Miami 21, the blueprint for the “Miami of the 21st Century” has been selected by The American Planning Association (APA) to receive the 2011 National Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice, the profession’s highest honor. The Best Practice award is given for a specific planning element or process that advances the role of planning.

“For the first time ever in a major US city, Miami 21 uses a form-based code- a method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form that improves the relationship between streets and the public realm. The code addresses the relationship between buildings and the public spaces that surround them, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks,” reads the APA website.

“We are honored and humbled that Miami 21 has received this prestigious award from the APA,” said Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.“ It serves as recognition of the fact that in order to remain environmentally and economically sustainable, cities must embrace form-based, pedestrian friendly land use planning.”

Miami 21 is also geared to ensure sustainability, predictability and efficiency in development, growth and planning. One of the key strengths of Miami 21 is incorporating responsible environmental stewardship. It will also make neighborhoods more pedestrian-friendly.

In the past 10 years, Miami has experienced unprecedented growth. The city needed to address sprawl, automobile-dependency and segregated communities. The new plan presents a solution for continued growth without infringing upon established neighborhoods, while encouraging walk ability and better interaction between the public and private realm

Strong determination, commitment and leadership helped create Miami 21. Coordination among city departments, significant public engagement and the ability to remain flexible in order to address the many concerns of both residents and businesses were all necessary

“To be an urban planner is to want to make a difference in our communities and our cities. To serve in the public sector is to have the opportunity to be part of something that is greater than one self. This award is a validation of our dream and desire to turn Miami into a walkable, livable city,” said Ana Gelabert-Sanchez, Harvard Loeb Fellow 10-11 and Former Planning Director for the City of Miami.

In addition to this prestigious award, Miami 21 has also been recognized with the following awards:

1. American Architectural Foundation, Keystone Award, Former Mayor Manny Diaz
2. Driehaus Form-Based Code Award with the Paul Crawford Distinction Award for a ground-breaking code
3. American Planning Association, Florida Award of Excellence, Best Practices
4. American Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum
5. Governing Magazine, Top Public Official of the Year, Ana Gelabert-Sanchez, Former Planning Director

To learn more about Miami 21, visit

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