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2022 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan: West Chicago Forward/Adelante

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2022 Strategic Plan Award: Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region

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2022 Distinguished Service Award: Paula Freeze

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2022 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan: West Chicago Forward/Adelante

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Each year, the Illinois Chapter recognizes the best in planning across Illinois with our annual awards program. These plans exemplify the tremendous planning efforts across the State of Illinois. 

Questions? Please email the 2022 Awards Chair, Sara Egan, AICP at

Awards News

Awards News


2022 APA-IL Project Awards

The Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-IL) is pleased to announce the 2022 project award recipients. The Chapter received a total of 22 nominations for outstanding examples of planning in Illinois. Congratulations to all who are recognized for their hard work, which seeks to advance the profession of planning in Illinois and nationwide!

Service Award winners were announced on September 28, 2022 at the 2022 APA-IL State Conference. Scroll down to view the winners.

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Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan

West Chicago Forward/Adelante


Submitted by MUSE Community + Design


This plan clearly demonstrates that planning can go beyond land use and address social and economic capital. The intentional and radically inclusive process for the West Chicago Forward/Adelante Comprehensive Plan (WCFA) drew on the City’s assets to present a unified vision for all West Chicagoans.

Click here to view the plan!


Strategic Plan Award

Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region


Submitted by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus

Action to mitigate the root causes of climate must be taken at a scale and speed that can only be accomplished through regional and international collaboration. The Climate Action Plan's multi-agency approach to the process illustrates how planners can partner with science-based knowledge to create a plan for resiliency. The process, metrics and outcomes can serve as a model for communities. 

Click here to view the plan!


Strategic Plan Award

Alton Great Streets

Submitted by Design Workshop

The Alton Great Streets Plan creates a complete roadway framework using Great Streets© as a way to rebuild and better serve the community. The plan's scope extends well beyond the focus corridor to connect districts, the downtown to the riverfront, and support community development in the neighborhoods around the corridor. 

Click here to view the plan!

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Best Practice Award

1212 Larkin


Submitted by the City of Elgin

The 1212 Larkin redevelopment is an exemplary model of providing affordable housing and preserving historic buildings, grounded in extensive public participation. The effort required innovative planning, design and outreach to create a historically sensitive redevelopment. The transferability of the site planning approach for other suburban communities is what makes this a model for implementing increased density and providing affordable and supportive housing.

Click here to view the project website!

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Advancing Diversity and Social Change Award

Hedge POP! Park


Submitted by the City of Champaign


The Hedge POP! Park showcases the City of Champaign's ability to build support for a project through community engagement within a historically underrepresented neighborhood and under an extremely constrained timeframe and budget. The community engagement in the Garden Hills neighborhood went beyond typical meetings to deeply engage third-party entities that could provide programming and capacity building to meet the needs of the neighborhood youth.

Click here to read more!

Healthy and Active Community Award

Illinois Veterans’ Home Quincy Campus Master Plan


Submitted by HOK

While the Campus Master Plan needed to respond to the tragedy surrounding an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in 2015, the plan provides dignified, holistic, and long-lasting solutions for the unique needs of the veteran population. The resulting campus demonstrates a commitment to mental health, wellness, and connection. The plan's progressive approach to adaptive reuse, integration with the broader community, and approach to phasing and implementation with existing residents in mind is noteworthy.

Click here to view the plan!

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Historic Exploration Award

Uncover Antioch

Submitted by: All Together

How do you take history and turn it into an adventure? This month-long scavenger hunt through out the Village of Antioch featured the incredible stories of local people and places. The educational approach is transferable to any community and is a creative way to educate the community and while creating pride and potential preservation impacts.

Click here to view the scavenger hunt!

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Student Project Award

35th Street Reimagined: Codesigning Neighborhood Improvements with McKinley Park Neighbors

Project Completed By: Aakash Basantani, Alexandra Pollock, Alicia Ruiz, Alyson Dressman, Atefa Ghaznawi, Bridget Barnes, Chuck Klutho, David Schottky, Katanya Raby, Prayag Bagde, Rajani Chowdary, Rananjai Singh, Yi Zhou

Programs: Masters of City Design and Master of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

A month-long research, community engagement, and planning/ design process laid out the initial steps to a longer neighborhood improvement process which will be spearheaded by the McKinley Park Development Council (MPDC). Community input was masterfully translated into implementable and innovative design ideas.

Click here to view the plan!

Service Awards

2022 Service Award Winners

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Emerging Planner Award

Jasmine Gunn

Jasmine Gunn is a city planner/designer with the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD). She has been with the department for only a few years but has already accomplished so much for the City and the people of the City of Chicago.

Jasmine focuses on the far south side of Chicago and is the lead DPD planner for the CTA Red Line Extension Transit Supportive Development Plan, Chicago State University campus planning, and various affordable housing projects. Jasmine is also the supervisor and mentor for urban design interns at DPD. Even though Jasmine has so much on her plate, she is an absolute delight to work with, brings positive energy, a great sense of humor and innovative ideas to work every day. Jasmine is, and will continue to be, a fantastic planner and designer that will bring positive change to the City of Chicago.

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Planning Advocate Award

Shermann 'Dilla' Thomas

Sherman “Dilla” Thomas is a local historian who is using his platform to bring  awareness to Chicago’s rich history. The lessons he provides through his TikTok videos help to dispel common negative perceptions about communities on Chicago’s South and West sides while simultaneously uplifting the rich cultural heritage of those communities.

In addition to TikTok, Dilla also runs a company called Chicago Mahogany Tours which offers tours of otherwise overlooked communities like North Lawndale, Bronzeville, Pullman, Roseland, and Bridgeport. The tours Chicago Mahogany Tours operates are meant to highlight Chicago’s people, architecture, and impact on the world while helping to foster a sense of pride in community.

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Distinguished Service Award

Paula Freeze

APA-IL is incredibly fortunate to have found an Executive Director who is first and foremost a planner that is passionate about all of the amazing things that planners do across the great state of Illinois. She has the determination to make sure that APA-IL is on the cutting edge of providing thought-provoking, inclusive, and fun events for APA-IL members. 


During her tenure with APA-IL, she has become the go-to resource for planners in Illinois, responding to questions from members, volunteers, and consultants, on issues large and small. Paula has her eye on the future of the organization, asking what our members want, what our members need, and how APA-IL can better serve them in the future. Paula's unparalleled experience and perspective provides an essential through line from where we've been, to where we are, and to where we are going. Thankfully, she's not done yet. Paula continues to demonstrate distinguished service to the Chapter as her skills and abilities continue to evolve with the needs of the Chapter.

Awards Archives

APA-IL Chapter Awards Archives