2018 Award Recipients

Leadership Award for Professional Planner 

Christina Anderson, AICP
City Planner, City of Kalamazoo

Ms. Anderson serves as the City Planner for the City of Kalamazoo.  During the Kalamazoo Master Plan process, she brought community engagement to the forefront and utilized innovative techniques.  Her ability to take complex planning concepts and explain them in easy to understand language continues as the Master Plan is implemented through various projects such as the Climate Action Plan.  Ms. Anderson is a champion of her community and has excelled in creating community buy-in, ownership, and support for the Master Plan, and MAP is proud to honor her with this award. 

Outstanding Community Administrator 

Mandy Grewal, PhD,
Township Supervisor, Pittsfield Charter Township

As supervisor for Pittsfield Charter Township, Ms. Grewal has initiated, overseen and implemented multiple planning projects including the 2010 master plan, the zoning ordinance rewrite in 2014 and most recently a joint recreation and master plan.  Due to her support and promotion of planning, Pittsfield has experienced an expansion of its multi-modal network, a public arts program, agricultural preservation, and installation of high-speed fiber connectivity.  She serves on many boards and commissions including SEMCOG and Ann Arbor SPARK.  Because of her dedication to planning in her community and the community at large, MAP is presenting this award to her.

Outstanding Planning Project:  Best Practice

Planning for Resiliency in Michigan:  A Comprehensive Handbook

Harnessing the expertise of scientists, policy makers, and other experts, this handbook provides a step-by-step process for integrating resiliency planning into a variety of planning-related activities including food systems, infrastructure decision making, natural resource management, zoning ordinances and master plans.  It includes innovative maps and unconventional data sets to help planners better understand community vulnerabilities. Congratulations to Beckett and Raeder and LIAA. 

Southeast Michigan ParkFinder

This app represents the latest evolution in SEMCOG’s efforts to coordinate recreation planning at the regional level.  Using data from 5-Year Recreation Plans, ParkFinder hones the data into a streamlined, interactive, user-friendly format.  The app is free and allows users to search more than 50 options in the six county area, including park location, size, and amenities. 

Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan

City of Bay City 2017 Master Plan

The City of Bay City 2017 Master Plan is a comprehensive plan where each topical chapter (Housing and Neighborhoods, Connections, Resiliency and Infrastructure) can be used as a stand-alone policy.  The plan process involved deeply engaging collaboration resulting in community leaders learning new methods of community engagement.  This plan was one of six pilot plans that received a grant from MDEG through MAP to develop a resiliency based comprehensive plan for coastal communities.  Congratulations to Carlisle Wortman Associates.


Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan

The Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan process resulted in over 4,000 points of contact with the public.  The community engagement including Meetings on the Go, Living Walls, meeting invites placed in free little libraries, along with more traditional methods.  Plan implementation including neighborhood planning, a complete streets policy and a climate action plan have already begun.  Jurors noted that the ability to move right into implementation proves that the community and its leaders support the plan. 

Outstanding Planning Project:  Economic Development Planning

Northland Mall Redevelopment Strategy

It is estimated that by 2022, one in four malls in the United States may be out of business.  The Northland Mall Redevelopment Strategy combined planning, architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, marketing and economic development into a placemaking strategy.  More than 5,000 residents also shared their vision for the 114-acre property. Congratulations to the City of Southfield and OHM Advisors.


Project Rising Tide

A governor-initiated program designed to spread Michigan’s “great economic comeback” throughout the state, the program provided tools and resources for smaller communities.  Based upon indicators such as poverty and vacant property rates, one village or city in each of the state’s 10 prosperity regions was selected to receive technical assistance in various forms. Congratulations to Beckett and Raeder.  

Outstanding Planning Project:  Environmental Planning

Water Resources for Southeast Michigan

Building upon water resource planning since the 1970’s, SEMCOG’s Water Resources for Southeast Michigan focuses on advancing the blue economy, natural resources protection and enhancement, and water infrastructure systems.  The plan spells out 28 regional policies, 32 case studies establishing best practices, and 101 recommended actions.  Jurors said, “The plan’s readability and overall design make it a tangible product.” 

Outstanding Planning Project:  Transportation Planning

Vital Streets and Design Guidelines for Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids has committed toward reducing single occupant vehicle commutes from 95% to 45% and to eliminate all traffic-related serious injuries and fatalities on city streets by 2035.  To achieve these goals, the plan and guidelines are accompanied by an equity analysis where needs and opportunities are considered.  Jurors said, “This effort takes the concept of Complete Streets to a whole new level.” 

Outstanding Planning Project:  Urban Design

City of Jackson Downtown Streetscape

Needed utility work and the very popular expansion of a downtown city park provided the needed momentum to complete the downtown streetscape.  Streets have been narrowed, sidewalks widened with a zero-net change in parking.  Youth were asked to decorate the construction site with their original artwork.  The drawings were enlarged and converted into banners. 

Outstanding Graduate Student Project

University of Michigan - Ocupacao Anchieta Avanca

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a lack of affordable housing results in informal settlements without sufficient waste management services creating environmental, health and safety hazards.  This plan is an urban framework developed among planning and architecture students, an informal dwellers’ association, a nonprofit landowner, and a robust network of local partners.  The project investigates how to mitigate rapid, informal urbanization in environmentally protected areas at the urban fringe.  MAP congratulates the University of Michigan students on a project that provides real world applicability to both domestic and international cities. 

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Project

Michigan State University - Imagine Vine 2025

Vine Neighborhood is the oldest neighborhood in the City of Kalamazoo.  Imagine Vine 2025 is a strategic vision for its future.  From research and analysis, the neighborhood was rated in seven completeness categories, such as access to transit and bike networks, access to food, and access to multiple housing opportunities.  Fourteen goals were created with actions to help achieve these goals.  These were organized into tables using the SMART model.  This project will become the neighborhood plan for Vine, consistent with the Imagine Kalamazoo Master Plan.  MAP congratulates the students for their outstanding work.