The state’s ‘Best Place’ to be named

South Australian planning professionals will gather at the Sebel Playford Ballroom in Adelaide on Friday, November 9 to find out which of their planning projects will be recognised as excellent and who will be named ‘Planner of the Year’.

South Australian planning professionals will gather at the Sebel Playford Ballroom in Adelaide on Friday, November 9 to find out which of their planning projects will be recognised as excellent and who will be named ‘Planner of the Year’.

Dubbed ‘The Big Night Out’ for planners, this is when the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) announces the 2012 PIA South Australia Awards for Planning Excellence. Planning projects created in the past year are submitted to the awards program and the work by planners and other professionals in the planning and development industry is judged in a number of categories.

PIA South Australian President Iris Iwanicki said this year’s search for the best planning projects in the state has been extremely fruitful.

“Some great planning projects have been submitted this year and the judges often found it difficult to arrive at a decision,” Ms Iwanicki said.

“We received nominations from PIA members, non-member planners, planning consultancies, public sector agencies and community groups.”

The Awards for Planning Excellence program called for nominations in a number of categories including the Best Planning Ideas Award and the Public Engagement and Community Planning Award. The different categories allow for a broad range of projects to be nominated and among the categories is the Great Place Award.

Last year’s Great Place Award went to Adelaide’s Central Market Precinct. This year a number of nominations have been received from within the city and regional areas. A Great Place in a neighbourhood or a city setting is important for communities to make connections with their surroundings as a place to be proud of and use as part of their lifestyle. The Planning Institute will this year name a Great Place that all of South Australians would be proud of.

“Planning is about creating places and spaces that people feel good about. Places that offer all the right facilities for the specific location. It’s about achieving economically, environmentally and socially sustainable places and projects for the future. The motivation behind the awards program is to promote and encourage the best that planning can offer.

“On Friday night, November 9, we will showcase the very latest in excellent planning projects which not only show industry stakeholders what their peers are achieving but also promotes the value of good planning to the wider community.”

Winning projects announced on the night will then go on to be judged against winning projects from other states and territories as they all compete for national recognition at the PIA National Awards for Planning Excellence in March 2013.

The annual PIA Awards for Excellence program has been running for 26 years and PIA believes its value has a greater significance as the world faces ever increasing challenges.

Communities the world over are facing rapid population growth, volatile markets, fragile economies and a number of other issues contributing to a seemingly uncertain future. PIA believes good planning in all its forms is the solution to these modern challenges. Governments, politicians, leaders of industry and the community need to recognise that good evidence based planning systems deliver visions for the future and desired outcomes socially, environmentally and economically wherever they are used.

Ms Iwanicki said it’s for all these reasons a national planning awards program is essential. “If we are to aspire to better public spaces, healthy sustainable places where people want to live work and relax, we need to continue the search for better ideas. That’s what this awards program is all about – the ultimate improvement in our lifestyle.

“The creation and delivery of a challenging project, and the cooperation, collaboration and coordination among the people involved are all things considered by the judges.

“It’s not just about looking for the best big development. It’s about a great planning idea, project or program.”

Details of the winners of the 2012 PIA Awards for Planning excellence will be published in the December issue of The Adelaide Review.

planning.org.au/sa

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