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2020 APA-IL Award Winners Announced!

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

The 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 Happen” in Illinois. Congratulations to all!

See the 2020 Award Winners via the APA-IL YouTube Channel on September 16th

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

(CM | 2 available)

Please note, all awards videos will remain private until 4:30 PM on September 16, 2020. By watching the entire awards playlist, AICP members may claim 2 CM credits.


2020 Project Awards

Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan Award

This year the APA-IL honors the Village of Frankfort for the “Your Future Frankfort 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

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!

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

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

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

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

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


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.

About Us The American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter (APA-IL) is Illinois' source for networking and professional development in the field of urban planning. The Illinois Chapter strives to enhance planning skills and knowledge through a number of activities including an annual Statewide conference, section meetings, planning awards, professional development, a newsletter, the website, and more. The Chapter exists as part of the larger American Planning Association. For more information about the APA-IL, visit Questions regarding the Awards Program should be directed to APA-IL Awards Chair, Tim Gustafson, AICP at


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