Winners of 2013 OPPI Excellence in Planning Awards announced

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) recently announced the 2013 winners of the Excellence in Planning Awards as part of celebrations marking World Town Planning Day.

The Excellence in Planning Awards recognize innovation, creativity, professionalism, problem-solving, and communications in five categories: Urban/Community Design; Municipal Statutory Planning Studies, Reports and Documents; Community Planning and Development Studies/Reports; Research/New Directions; and Communications/Public Education. These are the best of the best in community planning.

In the Urban/Community Design category, the University of Guelph Campus Master Plan by Urban Strategies Inc. won an award, while in the Municipal Statutory Planning Studies, Reports, Documents category, the Niagara Economic Gateway Study & Community Improvement Plan by the Region of Niagara, Dillon Consulting, RCI Consulting and Watson & Associates and the Guelph Downtown Secondary Plan by the City of Guelph and Urban Strategies Inc. both won awards. In the Community Planning & Development Studies/Reports category, the City of Hamilton’s Neighbourhood Action Strategy by the City of Hamilton took the prize. Step Forward: Hamilton Pedestrian Mobility Plan by the City of Hamilton, McKibbon Wakefield Inc. and O’Connor Mokrycke Consultants and Tall Buildings: Inviting Change in Downtown Toronto by Urban Strategies Inc., Hariri Pontarini Architects and City of Toronto City Planning Division both took home awards in the Research/ New Directions category. And in the Communications/Public Education category, the Ideas Café: A Street Master Planning and Visioning Workshop by the City of Hamilton won the prize. Additionally, the OPPI and Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Healthy Communities Award was given to Step Forward: Hamilton Pedestrian Mobility Plan. This special award recognizes excellence in creating healthy communities.

According to Paul J. Stagl, MCIP, RPP, OPPI President, “Planning our communities is not – and has never been – a static profession. Growth and community development is dynamic – and requires innovative, strategic and creative problem-solving. The OPPI Awards afford us an opportunity to recognize advancements achieved in both planning and strategic thinking – and to build on them for the challenges of the next generation. What better occasion than on World Town Planning Day to celebrate those advancements.”

OPPI is the recognized voice of Ontario’s planning profession. Its more than 4,000 members work in government, private practice, universities, and not-for-profit agencies in the fields of urban and rural development, community design, environmental planning, transportation, health, social services, heritage conservation, housing, and economic development.

For more information, please visit