Carolina Graduate Student Organizations Win American Planning Association Award

Planners’ Forum and Carolina Planning Journal, two student-led organizations in the Department of City and Regional Planning at The University of North Carolina, were recently named joint recipients of the American Planning Association (APA) Outstanding Planning Student Organization Award for 2016.

The APA Student Representatives Council (SRC) Executive Committee designed this awards program to, as stated on the APA website: promote students’ volunteer involvement in their student organization, communities, and state chapters; recognize the outstanding efforts of these student groups; identify best practices in student organizations; and strengthen the ties between student organizations and the American Planning Association.

Carolina’s organizations were granted this award based on their efforts this year to organize a series of initiatives to create a meaningful experience for students. First, the Carolina Planning Journal published a print volume in May 2015 around the theme of “Planning for the New Economy.” This blog, which publishes twice per week and has attracted a wide readership of almost 2,000 unique visitors in 2016 alone, also featured prominently in the award. 

Carolina Planning Journal Editorial BoardCarolina Planning Journal Editorial Board at the Fall 2015 Launch Party. Photo Credit: Cara Isher-Witt.

Second, its inclusion group, Plan for All, hosted twelve events that engaged issues ranging from planning for LGBTQ folks, public engagement best practices, black planning history, hazard planning and equity, and more. The group hosted Durham Mayor Bill Bell for a conversation about race and poverty in September 2015. Plan for All members are also working with faculty to identify gaps in the curriculum relating to race, class, gender, and equity.

Mayor Bill Bell at Plan for AllDurham Mayor, Bill Bell speaks with DCRP students and faculty during a Plan for All Brown Bag. Photo Credit: Udo Reisinger.

Third, its Career Development Committee coordinated a number of events and resources to assist students in finding jobs and internships in the field, such as resume workshops and mock interview events. Students also organized a Fall Break Trip to Atlanta that connected Carolina Planning students with some of Atlanta’s most exciting planners such as planner Ryan Gravel, who dreamed up Atlanta’s Belt Line, Tim Keane, Atlanta’s Planning Commissioner, and Nedra Deadwyler, founder of Civil Bikes.

Tim Keane Fall Break Trip

DCRP students tour Atlanta’s Ponce City Market with new Planning Commissioner, Time Keane. Photo Credit: Tim Quinn.

These organizations will be recognized in April at the National APA Conference, and will receive a cash award. This award will be used to support next year’s programming, events, development, publications, and trips.

For more information about this award, see the APA’s announcement or contact the Carolina Planning Journal and Planners’ Forum.

Featured Image: Watercolor of DCRP’s home base, the New East building at UNC Chapel Hill. Artist Credit: Cara Isher-Witt (DCRP ’15).