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. 


Awards News


2020 APA-IL Chapter Awards

The American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter (APA-IL) is proud to announce the 2020 APA-IL Project and Service Award Winners. These outstanding planning efforts from across the state exemplify the practice of urban planning and each stand as an example of ways our members are “Making Great Communities for All” in Illinois. Congratulations to all!

Thank you to the 2020 Awards Jury. It’s no small effort to read and review all the great project nominations we receive.

  • Nina Idemudia, AICP from Muse Community Design

  • Lesley Roth, AICP from Ratio

  • Cynthia Hoyle, FAICP from Hoyle Consulting

  • Mark Rinnan, AICP from Jacobs

  • Jaemi Jackson, AICP from the City of Highland Park

  • Mercy Davison, AICP from the Town of Normal

  • Steve Marciani, AICP from the Village of Skokie and Co-chair for the Awards Program. 

2020 Project & Service Awards

Please note: all 2020 videos will go live at 4:30 PM on September 16, 2020

As the APA-IL has gone virtual with their events this year, the 2020 Awards Program is a little different. The Chapter decided to mix it up and give all of you a bit more of a peek behind the scenes. Join us via YouTube to learn a little about each plan in a brief recorded Q&A with each of our award winners, hosted by 2020 APA-IL Awards Chair, Tim Gustafson, AICP. Come with us as we explore the various zoom backgrounds, socially-distant conference rooms, and home offices used as we learned more from each of our award recipients.

2020 APA-IL Awards Program

September 16, 2020

4:30 PM

join via APA-IL's YouTube Channel

(CM | 2 available)


Please note, all 2020 awards videos will go live at 4:30 PM on September 16, 2020.

If you're attending the 2020 APA-IL Virtual State Conference, after you've browsed through the awards interviews, at 5:30 come mingle at the special edition of the Lockdown Lowdown Happy Hour.


2020 Conference attendees will also be able to hear from some of the award-winning plan teams during #APAIL2020 Speed Planning #2 session on Thursday, September 17th from 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM.


2020 Project Awards


Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan Award

Your Future Your Frankfort 2040 Comprehensive Plan

This year the APA-IL honors the Village of Frankfort for the “Your Future Your Frankfort 2040 Comprehensive Plan”. From the plan’s application narrative, “Frankfort is a community that is deeply committed to quality. From top‐notch parks and education to the design and construction of new homes and businesses, quality matters” a great deal to the Village and its residents."


Student Award

Village of Dolton Comprehensive Plan

The project submitted was created during the Plan Making Studio course at the University of Illinois at Chicago and showcases the team’s ability to develop a high quality comprehensive plan for the South Suburban community of Dolton, Illinois.


Opportunity and Empowerment Award - new for 2020!

Austin Forward. Together.

AFT not only established an unprecedented common agenda for Austin, it outlined concrete, community-prioritized actions to drive the improvement of Austin’s quality of life.

Healthy Active Community Award

Southeast Cook County Land Acquisition Plan: A Strategy for the Forest Preserves of Cook County

The Forest Preserves of Cook County commissioned this innovative and ground-breaking approach to strategic land acquisition planning as a new model for land acquisition.


Public Outreach Award

Bloomington and Normal Consolidated Plans

The joint effort between the City of Bloomington, Town of Normal, and McLean County Regional Plan Commission process created and implemented the most robust, multi-faceted, strategic community outreach effort in the area. Considerable thought was put into creating an outreach plan that would focus heavily on community engagement, especially with populations traditionally excluded from the planning process.


Strategic Plan Award

Urbana Park District Strategic Plan 2020

The Urbana Park District undertook this transformative strategic planning and community engagement process in-house to create the very best, and uniquely Urbana, strategic plan.


Best Practice

Matteson Streetscape Improvement Plan

The Village of Matteson developed a visionary idea to re-imagine the corridors as connectors and identity defining routes to celebrate the community’s history, commercial success, and promising future.


2020 Service Awards


Emerging Planner Award

Jane Wilberding, AICP


Planning Advocate Award

Tonika Johnson


Distinguished Service Award

Marcella Bondie Keenan

APA-IL Chapter Awards Archives


The American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter (APA-IL) is the premier authority on urban planning issues and professional development for Illinois' urban planners.


The APA-IL is the official membership association for practicing planners in the State of Illinois.  We strive to inform, educate, and connect our members to resources and tools that advance the practice of planning throughout the state.  We pride ourselves on "Creating Great Communities for All" in Illinois.  




American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter

c/o NIU Center for Governmental Studies
148 N. 3rd St.
DeKalb, IL 60115


© 2014 APA-IL







  • APA-IL Facebook
  • APA-IL Twitter
  • APA-IL LinkedIn
  • APA-IL Instagram
  • APA-IL YouTube