Inaugural Groves Award Winner Announced

The Minds Behind the Miami 21 Earn Distinction of First Groves Award

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“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serving the City of Miami during one its strongest growth periods, Gelabert-Sanchez and Diaz realized that Miami’s outdated “one-size-fits-all” code was seriously flawed.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.

The award will be presented on Saturday, June 4, at the afternoon plenary at the 19th annual Congress for the New Urbanism conference in Madison, Wisconsin.


(Miami. Photo Credit: Beraldo Leal– Creative Commons via Flickr)