Application Level Awards

Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan

For a comprehensive or general plan that advances the science and art of planning. The award honors America's most famous planner, Daniel Burnham, for his contributions to the planning profession and to a greater awareness of the benefits of good planning.

  • 2022 - PlanForward2050
  • 2018 - Sarpy County Comprehensive Plan
  • 2017 - Cozad Comprehensive Plan
  • 2016 - Blair Comprehensive Plan (JEO)
  • 2015 - Ralston Comprehensive Plan (JEO)
  • 2014 - Lex Plan 2033 (JEO)
  • 2011 - Environment Element, Omaha Plan
  • 2009 - Douglas County Comprehensive Development Plan

Planning Excellence

This award recognizes how planning is essential to addressing desires, needs, or challenges within a community, county, region, or specific geographic location. This category emphasizes outcomes and demonstrates how planning helps to create stronger, more equitable communities. In 2022, eight categories (best practices, grassroots initiative, public outreach, communications initiative, transportation planning, environmental planning, urban design, and innovation in economic planning and development) were combined into one broad Planning Excellence category. The following award winners represent these broad categories.

  • 2023 -Rural Resurrection (Chris Solberg, AICP)
  • 2022 - Papio-Missouri River NRD 2021 Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • 2021 - Lincoln Affordable Housing Coordinated Action Plan; One District, Two Plans, One Water Plan (Upper Big Blue NRD); Grand Island Metro 2045 LRTP
  • 2020 - Hamilton County Comprehensive Plan Update; Norfolk Levee System Emergency Preparedness Plan; Grand Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan; North Platte Telegraph; Historic 10th Street Neighborhood Plan (Omaha, NE); Ralston Downtown/Hinge Master Plan
  • 2019 - North Platte/Lincoln County Housing Needs Assessment; MAPA Block Talks; Little Steps Big Impact: Ozone awareness and education campaign (MAPA), Metro Transit ORBT; Lower Loup NRD South Loup River Watershed Management Plan; Ho-Chunk Village 2.0 Master Plan (HDR)
  • 2018 - Flatwater Crossing Design Guidelines (South Sioux City); Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) Online Bike Map; Drought Management Plan for the Lower Elkhorn River Natural Resources District; City of Gretna Downtown Revitalization Plan & Design Guidelines
  • 2017 - Grand Island TIF Game; Plattsmouth Downtown Revitalization; Beatrice Hazard Mitigation Plan; Creighton University Medical Center (CUMC) and Gifford Park Master Plan
  • 2016 - City of Omaha Infill Guidelines and Overlay Zoning; Lower Platte South Natural Resource District; Flatwater Crossing Neighborhood Master Plan-HoChunk (HDR)
  • 2015 - Bellevue University Campus Master Plan (HDR)
  • 2014 - Crete Wellhead Protection Plan (JEO); La Vista Civic Center Park Master Plan; University Village, UNK (HDR)
  • 2013 - Elwood Downtown Revitalization Plan; Sarpy County Energy Element; Wahoo Creek Watershed Water Quality Management Plan (Lower Platte North NRD); South Omaha Streetscape Revitalization
  • 2011 - Lexington Downtown Revitalization Plan; South Omaha Development Plan
  • 2010 - Downtown Nebraska City Revitalization Plan; Omaha Downtown Master Plan; Gretna Comprehensive Plan; Nemaha NRD Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • 2009 - North Omaha Development Project

Great Places in Nebraska

This award is to recognize and celebrate great urban and rural places of exemplary character, quality, and planning. These areas represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, culture and historic interest, community involvement and a vision for tomorrow. This award category is modeled on the National APA award category and may lead to nomination as a candidate for national recognition.

  • 2018 - Downtown Seward
  • 2017 - South Sioux City Riverfront

Advancing Diversity and Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff

This award honors an individual, project, group, or organization that promotes diversity and demonstrates a sustained commitment to advocacy by addressing the concerns of women and minorities through specific actions or contributions within the planning profession or through planning practice. The award honors the late APA member, Paul Davidoff, for his contributions to the planning profession.

  • 2019 - MAPA for the Equitable Growth Profile of the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region
  • 2013 - Pamela Dingman, PE


Recognizing an effort that demonstrates a significant achievement for an area—a single community or a region—in accomplishing positive changes as a result of planning. This award emphasizes long-term, measurable results. Nominated efforts should have been in continuous effect for a minimum of three (3) years, not including the time for plan preparation and approval.

Individual Awards

Charleston-Ptak Planning Advocate Award

This award honors an individual or appointed or elected official who has advanced or promoted the cause of planning in the public arena. This award is named after Steve Charleston and David Ptak for their leadership and advocacy for good planning in Nebraska. This is a National Award but is not referred to the Charleston-Ptak Planning Advocate Award.

  • 2023 - Scott Dobbe, AIA
  • 2022- Karna Loewenstein
  • 2018 - Central Nebraska Growth Foundation; Clint Schukei, Norfolk
  • 2017 - David Levy
  • 2016 - Kim Nieman, Pilger
  • 2014 - Lower Platte South NRD; Mayor Chris Beutler, Lincoln
  • 2011 - Steve Charleston; David Ptak
  • 2010 - Connie Spellman

Alden Aust Distinguished Leadership Award for a Professional Planner

Recognizes an individual's sustained contribution to the profession through distinguished practice, teaching, or writing. (This is an APA Nebraska award only. National APA no longer has this category.) This award is named after Alden Aust former Planning Director at the City of Omaha and a former FAICP member for his leadership and professionalism in Nebraska.

  • 2023 - Stephan Osberg, AICP
  • 2022 - Keith Marvin, AICP
  • 2020 - Derek Miller
  • 2019 - Chad Nabity
  • 2014 - Steve Jensen, AICP
  • 2013 - Lonnie Dickson

Emerging Practicing Planners

An award recognizing an individual with seven years or less of planning experience who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment and understanding towards the planning profession through distinguished practice, teaching, or writing.

  • 2023 - Kristen Ohnoutka, AICP Candidate
  • 2022 - Cale Brodersen, AICP

Wozniak-Selander Award for a Planning Pioneer

Honoring pioneers of the profession who have made personal and direct innovations in American planning that have significantly and positively redirected planning practice, education, or theory with long-term results. (This is an APA Nebraska award only. National APA no longer has this category.) This award is named after Richard Wozniak, FAICP and Robert Selander for their leadership and pioneering attitudes toward planning in Nebraska.

  • 2023 - David Cary, AICP
  • 2022 - Dallas McGee, AICP
  • 2014 - Harry Milligan
  • 2013 - Carol Swayne; Gordon Scholz, FAICP
  • 2012 - Richard Wozniak, FAICP; Robert Selander

Presidents Award

The President’s Award recognizes an individual’s outstanding contribution to the Nebraska Chapter through distinguished service, Chapter promotion, new programs or innovative processes.

  • 2023 - Jesse Poore, AICP
  • 2022 - Stephanie Rouse, AICP

Discontinued Awards as of 2022

Planning Firm

Honors a planning firm that has produced distinguished work that continues to influence the professional practice of planning.

  • 2016 - JEO Consulting Group, Inc.

Planning Agency

This award honors the work of a public sector planning agency that has continually produced a program of exceptional work that has elevated awareness about planning.

  • 2018 - Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA)