Planning Awards

Arlington has been recognized for excellence and received numerous awards for the Smart Growth and comprehensive planning efforts that have helped shaped our community, preserve the environment and bolster the local economy.


Historic Preservation Program and Review Board Recognized for Clarendon War Memorial Project
Arlington’s Historic Preservation Program staff and Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) were honored with a Commission Excellence Award in the category of Best Practices: Public Outreach/Advocacy from the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC), Aug. 7, 2020. The award recognizes the work of County staff and the HALRB on the Clarendon War Memorial Interpretive Project. (August 2020)

Western Rosslyn Area Plan (WRAP) Receives Outstanding Implemented Plan Award
The Western Rosslyn Area Plan was selected to receive the 2018 Outstanding Implemented Plan Award from the American Planning Association, National Capital Area Chapter. This unique planning process involved extensive community engagement, public / private partnerships and coordinated redevelopment in order to achieve the County’s vision and goals. (Oct. 2018)

Robert J. Duffy, FAICP, Arlington County Planning Director, Recognized by Virginia Senate and Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association
The Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA), as part of the opening of their 2018 annual conference, recognized Planning Director Robert J. Duffy’s induction to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Bob and three other Virginia APA Chapter members were formally inducted at APA’s 2018 national conference held in April.

The APA Virginia Chapter presented Mr. Duffy with a copy of Virginia Senate Resolution No. 524 commending Robert J. Duffy, FAICP for his induction to the AICP College of Fellows and for “exemplary accomplishments” in the professional practice of planning and his “contributions to Arlington County.” (July 2018)

Planning Director Elected to Prestigious College of Fellows
Planning Director Robert J. Duffy was elected to become a member(JPG, 891KB) of the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows (FAICP), one of the highest honors bestowed upon a member by the professional institute under the American Planning Association (APA). (July 2018)

Rosslyn Sector Plan Economic Development Award
The County was awarded the Holzheimer Award for Economic Development from the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association at their annual conference for their work on the Rosslyn Sector Plan. (July 2017)

National Planning Achievement Award for Smart Growth Journey
The American Planning Association recognized Arlington’s commitment to community-based planning and smart growth with the Gold 2017 National Planning Achievement Award for Implementation. Arlington was one of 12 national award recipients, the profession’s highest honor. (April 2017)

Arlington Wins Public Outreach and Engagement Award: The American Planning Association Virginia Chapter recognized the Arlington Community Facilities Study with the 2016 Public Outreach and Engagement Award. The Study was an 11-month effort to evaluate Arlington’s changing facility and resource needs. The report summarizes the committee’s findings, key community challenges and proposes a list of recommendations to address the challenges. (June 2016)

Courthouse Sector Plan Addendum: Courthouse Square was selected by the American Planning Association Virginia Chapter to receive an honorable mention for both the Outstanding Plan and Public Outreach and Engagement Awards. This long-range plan will guide the development of a new civic center and great public destination for Arlington over the next several decades. (June 2016)

Columbia Pike Wins Award for Best Corridor Plan: The Congress for New Urbanism recognized Arlington’s efforts to transform the Columbia Pike area into a walkable, mixed-used main street. The Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan incorporates innovative Form Based Code and provides direction for creating a walkable and bicycle-friendly corridor, while preserving affordable housing. Since the late 1990s, the County has partnered with residents, community leaders, and business owners to plan the corridor’s revitalization. (May 2014)

Achievement Award for Innovation in Economic Planning and DevelopmentThis award recognizes the Crystal City Sector Plan, the long-range vision crafted jointly by community members and the County government, and the first plan of its kind to closely study the economics of demolishing and replacing major commercial buildings. (April 2013)

Benjamin Banneker Award for Outstanding Social Commitment and Community: This national award from the American Planning Association recognizes the County’s most ambitious long-term planning effort to preserve affordable housing — the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan. (Oct. 2012)

Shirlington Village Recognized for Sustainability with CoreNet Mid Atlantic Award: This award recognizes the County’s efforts in sustainable development and community improvement. It honors those who have demonstrated strong leadership and have made a significant impact in the Corporate Real Estate Industry. (Sept. 2010)

Arlington Captures 7 Best of NAIOP Awards: The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties recognized two projects developed by the County — the Walter Reed Community Center and the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Arlington also was noted for Best Real Estate Transaction for BNA Inc. in Crystal City and local awards for the Sigal Executive Offices in Crystal City, PACE and the Phoenix in Clarendon, the Regent in Ballston and One and Two Potomac Yard in Crystal City. (Nov. 2007)

Achievement Award for Consolidated Planning: Arlington received an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its consolidated planning process and its innovative 5-Year Plan Citizen Summary. (2006)

Master Plan Award for Columbia Pike: Arlington received an honorable mention in the Master Plan Award category for its Columbia Pike Initiative– A Revitalization Plan, Update 2005. This award from the American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter focuses on a written plan for a defined neighborhood, small area or section of a community. (2006)

Outstanding Planning Award for Nauck Village Center Action Plan: Arlington received an honorable mention for outstanding master plan from the American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter. The award recognizes excellence in Virginia planning, based on quality, originality, transferability, comprehensiveness, public participation and implementation strategies. (2005)

Aerial view of Arlington Top Honors for Smart Growth

Best of NAIOP Northern Virginia Award Winners

Arlington garnered 9 awards from NAIOP, ranging from Best Real Estate Transaction to the Award of Excellence for Interiors for Crystal Tech Fund. (Nov. 2014)

Salon: recognized Arlington County as the “suburb of the future,” and noted how Arlington “avoided the worst of suburbanization and revealed the path toward sustainable urban development.” The article hailed Arlington for its foresight — thanks to community consensus in the 1960s to support high-density zones and underground Metro stations — in becoming a thriving, walkable city. (July 2014)

National Academy of Sciences: The Academy hailed Arlington as one of the nation’s best transit-oriented development success stories. The County’s “adherence to textbook planning principles,” and focus on creating attractive, walkable spaces, and proactive community involvement is cited in the paper, “Driving and the Built Environment: The Effects of Compact Development on Motorized Travel, Energy Use, and CO2 Emissions.” (Sept. 2009)

Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards named among Great Streets in America: The American Planning Association (APA) singled out Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards because of Arlington’s successful implementation of Smart Growth measures that have led to residents’ above-average use of Metro rail, reduced reliance on automobiles, mixed-use development along the two streets, increased density and a reduced carbon footprint. This recognition is through APA’s Great Places in America program. (Oct. 2008)

Arlington Recognized as Visionary Leader with Capital Region Visionary Award: The Coalition for Smarter Growth recognized Arlington as a leader in transit-oriented development, affordable housing, bicycle/pedestrian investments and green building, calling the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor a national model for transit-oriented development. (Nov. 2007)

EPA National Award for Smart Growth Achievement 2002: Arlington was recognized for effective planning, policies and overall excellence in Smart Growth, receiving this prestigious award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation. The County was recognized for Smart Growth in the Rosslyn-Ballston Metro Corridor, an exceptional example of planning and implementation demonstrating a commitment to growth that makes sense for our environment and our community. (Nov. 2002)


Citizen Leadership
The American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter recognized Inta Malis, Planning Commission member and Form Based Code Advisory Working Group chair, with the Citizen Planner Award for more than 10 years of community leadership. Malis was an integral leader behind the community visioning process and the development of the Columbia Pike Initiative Plan, Neighborhood Area Plan, and two Form Based Codes, which are helping to attract reinvestment and revitalization in the Columbia Pike corridor. (July 2004)

Distinguished Leadership Award for an Elected Official: This American Planning Association National Award recognizes Arlington’s commitment to the Capital Bikeshare Program, along with these other public agencies:District of Columbia, City of Alexandria, Montgomery County, City of College Park and University of Maryland and City of Rockville. (Oct. 2012)

Planning Leadership Award: Robert Brosnan, Director of Arlington’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development received this recognition from American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter. (July 2012)

Planning Leadership Award: Jim Snyder was honored with a Planning Leadership Award for a Professional Planner from the American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter. The award recognizes an individual who has made a sustained contribution to the planning profession through distinguished practice, teaching or writing. Snyder worked for more than 30 years to promote Smart Growth in Arlington and his stewardship helped Arlington shape attractive residential neighborhoods and vibrant mixed-use commercial districts and become a national model for transit-oriented development and Smart Growth policies. (2006)