The Groves Award
The Groves Award for outstanding leadership and vision by a public official in the promotion of Transect-based planning is given jointly by the Transect Codes Council and the Congress for the New Urbanism. The award was created in honor of Ken Groves, the late Planning Director of the City of Montgomery, Alabama. His leadership in using land development and planning to create better communities is a gift that he left for all. Through his vision and persistence, Alabama's capital city began its journey back to prominence and sustainability.
2012 Winner: Mathew McElroy, City of El Paso
Mathew McElroy, Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development in the City of El Paso, will be the 2012 recipient of the Groves Award. The award recognizes outstanding leadership and vision in the promotion of transect-based planning and will be presented this year at the 20th Congress for the New Urbanism in West Palm Beach, Florida at the Friday Morning Plenary, May 11, 2012, 9:00AM to 10:15AM.
McElroy was unanimously selected by the jury this year due to his leadership and commitment in adopting New Urban and Transect-based plans, including the new city-wide Comprehensive Plan Plan El Paso; leadership in multiple SmartCode re-zonings throughout the City of El Paso; his commitment to CNU-accreditation; and his reform of El Paso's conventional subdivision regulations.
This year's jury consisted of Paul Crabtree, Crabtree Group Inc; Chad Emerson, City of Montgomery; Ana Gelabert-Sanchez, Former Planning Director of the City of Miami and co-recipient of the 2011 Groves Award; Marina Khoury, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company; Jason King, Dover, Kohl & Partners; Nathan Norris, PlaceMakers; and Sandy Sorlien, Smartcode Local. Jason King and Nathan Norris abstained from the vote given that they worked closely with McElroy in the past.
Learn more about McElroy's accomplishments by downloading the Transect Codes Council press release on McElroy's honor.
2011 Winner: Miami 21
“Determination, persistence, and political know-how.”
Not a bad list of requirements for converting ambitious goals into official policy. And an apt description of the tools employed by former Miami planning director Ana Gelabert-Sanchez and former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz to shape their city’s blueprint for growth via the landmark Miami 21 form-based code. The Miami 21 code was first distinguished in 2010, as one of the winners of the prestigious Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award, given by the Form Based Codes Institute. Now, their achievement has earned them the additional distinction as recipients of the first Groves Award for outstanding leadership and vision in the promotion of Transect-based planning.
Given jointly by the Transect Codes Council and the Congress for the New Urbanism, the Groves Award honors the legacy of Ken Groves, the late planning director of the City of Montgomery, Alabama. “I can’t think of a better tribute to Ken than to set the standard for the award named after him with this announcement,” said Victor Dover, both the jury and CNU Board Chair. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of Ana and Mayor Diaz, Miami 21 represents a model for coding reform for large, complex urban environments. It’s a landmark achievement.”
While serving the City of Miami during one its strongest growth periods, Gelabert-Sanchez and Diaz realized that Miami’s outdated “one-size-fits-all” code was seriously flawed. They led the effort to completely replace Miami’s existing zoning code with one that formally incorporated walkability, sustainability, predictability, respect of neighborhood context and a high-quality public realm. Ana spent five years tirelessly writing, editing, testing and selling the code to Miami’s varied stakeholders, while Manny ‘s hands-on approach led the political charge and spearheaded the effort to incorporate environmental stewardship into the code.
“Their combined leadership, determination, persistence and political know how were key elements for its approval,” said Groves Award judges in announcing the winners.
Watch the inaugural Groves Award presentation at the beginning of the Closing Plenary held Saturday, June 4th, 2011 at the 19th annual Congress for the New Urbanism conference in Madison, Wisconsin.
(Miami Photo Credit: Beraldo Leal– Creative Commons via Flickr)