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Buffalo School Alum Helps Receive APA 2013 National Planning Excellence Award

Gary Jastrzab receives APA award

Gary Jastrzab (BA '76), second from right, is executive director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, which was recently recognized by the APA for its innovative approach to integrated planning and zoning.

Published June 19, 2014

On April 16, 2013, Gary Jastrzab (BA ’76), helped to receive a  2013 National Planning Excellence Award for Philadelphia’s Integrated Planning and Zoning Process at the American Planning Association Conference in Chicago.

Jastrzab is executive director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC), which received the award for its pioneering process of combining citizen education, planning and zoning reform. The Best Practice award is for a specific innovative planning practice that yields lasting values in the community. 

Within the Integrated Planning and Zoning process, the PCPC instated three distinct planning endeavors – the Citizens Planning Institute, Philadelphia2035 (the city’s comprehensive plan), and a new zoning code and map revision.

The Citizen Planning Institute is the education and outreach entity of PCPC’s plan by establishing a group of informed community leaders in all neighborhoods. This movement also encouraged residences to be active and mindful members of the planning process. Philadelphia2035 is the city’s first comprehensive plan in more than 50 years focusing on the themes of Thrive, Connect and Renew. The final component, zoning reform, was comprised of a rewrite on the city’s 50-year-old code and multiple zoning map revisions.

Each program worked to educate citizens and professionals along with involving thousands in reimagining the future of Philadelphia. With the three planning actions working together, the PCPC was able to adopt a new comprehensive plan and zoning code in the same calendar year along with moving into the implementation phase.

Visit the APA online to read more about the Excellence Award honored to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.