City of Huntsville wins award for Harnessing Huntsville’s Potential Report
The City of Huntsville has been honored with a second award for its Harnessing Huntsville’s Potential Report. The result of the H-GAC Housing and Economic Development Case Study and conducted as part of the Our Great Region 2040 project, the plan is the recipient of a 2015 National Merit Award for Outstanding Small Town or Rural Plan from the American Planning Association’s Small Town and Rural Planning (STaR) Division. The City of Huntsville’s project partners were the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), Design Workshop, and Franklin Associates.
Harnessing Huntsville’s Potential outlines a strategy for the city to capitalize on development opportunities where land is available. The study also provides a clear framework for addressing other priority issues, such as creating affordable housing options; increasing and diversifying the labor pool; and promoting business development, retention, and expansion.
APA’s STaR Division Awards Committee informed the City that the case study plan was chosen for a Merit Award because of its unique case study approach and that the committee had been impressed with the breadth of strategies outlined in the plan, the extensive business involvement, the way the plan was laid-out, and how the images helped make the plan user-friendly.
H-GAC included the following in their information on the plan, “Our Great Region 2040 is a high-level plan that presents big ideas and proposes strategies to move the H-GAC region toward achieving the vision of being one of the world’s greatest places to live, work, and succeed by the year 2040. During the development of the plan, six case studies were selected from a variety of entities to examine overarching issues of regional importance. Together, they provide a tool box of actions and practices that can be used by other communities across the region as they respond to similar challenges and opportunities. Case studies were conducted in Bay City, Brazoria County, along Cypress Creek Greenway, Galveston, Houston, and Huntsville.
City Neighborhood Resources Director Dr. Sherry McKibben worked with a dedicated group of citizens and staff and the project partners who produced the award winner by reaching out into all parts of Huntsville.
“I am very proud of what our community accomplished with this plan and am thrilled that all our hard work is being recognized with this national award.”
The plan was previously awarded the Waves of Change 2013 Long Range Planning Award by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association in September 2013. Aron Kulhavy, Director of Community and Economic Development, echoed at that time McKibben’s praise of the consulting firm that helped garner the project the nomination and win.
“The consultants did a great job guiding us through the process and putting together a great plan from discussions with the community,” he said. “In the end, we have a priority list that includes some great ideas and projects and a plan in place to implement them.”
For more information, contact McKibben at firstname.lastname@example.org or 936-291-5428, or Kulhavy at email@example.com or 936-294-5793.