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Richmond 300 plan wins national award for beginning to 'right the planning wrongs of the past'

Richmond 300 plan wins national award for beginning to 'right the planning wrongs of the past'

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Richmond’s recently adopted master plan, which is intended to guide the city’s growth through the next 20 years, has won a national award.

The American Planning Association, a professional organization that represents the nation’s urban planners, on Thursday declared the Richmond 300 comprehensive plan the winner of its Daniel Burnham Award.

The national organization heralded the city’s community engagement efforts and recognition of the city’s history of racially discriminatory policies, which fomented distrust of planning efforts.

“Working together with other city departments, nonprofit agencies, and private partners, planners were leaders in convening and facilitating a variety of community input sessions,” the organization wrote. “The unanimously adopted master plan begins to right the planning wrongs of the past while establishing a strong foundation of good planning for years to come.”

Throughout the course of the 256-page plan’s development, the city engaged approximately 7,000 residents to craft land-use plans and strategies.

Maritza Pechin, a planner who managed the development of the plan as a consultant, said the award is the biggest an urban planner could hope to win.

“I am absolutely thrilled that Richmond 300 won this award,” said Pechin, whom the city hired as the deputy director of its planning department in February. “It is a major accomplishment, and every Richmonder should feel really proud. Now that the plan has been adopted and received this tremendous accolade, I am dedicated to working with Richmonders to implement the plan’s vision for a more equitable, sustainable, and beautiful Richmond.”

The City Council approved the plan late last year; several members said their votes were contingent on revisions they hope to implement later this year.


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