North Carolina Great Places Awards

Great Street

Recognizes streets that gathering places for community events, visitors, and residents. They are streets for people, travelers, shopping, and dining and are integral places for creating a sense of community or place.

Great Transformation

Honors places that have reenergized - whether a shopping mall that's been retrofitted  into a mixed-use community, an abandoned industrial area transformed into artist lofts, an historic rehabilitation that utilized tax credits, or a recently rejuvenated neighborhood.

Great Place for Public Art

Values a community's creative side, whether it's a mural-filled downtown, a sculpture park, or artistic bus stops, we want to see your community's artistic side.

Great Healthy Place

Celebrates community amenities that encourages activity and exploration. Whether it's a bicycle or greenway network, concerted efforts for social interaction and/or aging in place, access to locally-sourced foods, a commitment to sustainable ecosystems and the environment, or the active involvement of children in the community - healthy living has no boundaries. 

Great Place for Equity

Recognized projects that support a more diverse, accessible, and inclusive community. This category, created in 2020, highlights forward-thinking planning initiatives that create attainable housing options and affordable transportation.

Marvin Collins Planning Awards

Planning Advocate

Recognizes an elected official, board or commission member, administrator, citizen planner, media outlet, or other non-professional planner for increasing understanding of the value of planning and sound planning principles.

Philip R Green Jr. Distinguished Service Award 

Honors a planner who has made a sustained and significant contribution to APA-NC.

Robert E. Reiman Professional Achievement 

Honors a planner who has made a sustained and significant contribution to the planning profession in North Carolina.

Student (undergraduate and graduate)

Recognizes students who have excelled in an accredited NC planning program.

Student Project (undergraduate and graduate)

Recognizes high-quality student work that increases the understanding of the value of planning.

Comprehensive Plan (small and large)

Recognizes plans that advance the science and art of planning.

Small Area Plan

Recognizes plans focused on neighborhoods, corridors, or similar small areas that advance the science and art of planning. 

Specialized Planning

Recognizes excellent efforts within a focused substantive area (transportation, environment, economic development, innovation, etc.)

Implementation (small and large)

Recognizes significant achievement in accomplishing positive changes as a result of planning , with an emphasis on long-term, measurable results.


Honors a project or program for exceptional efforts that support meaningful engagement and create a greater awareness of planning-related issues within a community or specific segments of the public.

Advancing Equity

Recognizes a project or program that meaningfully involves historic underrepresented groups, positively impacts quality of life for low- or moderate-income individuals, and/or achieves planning objectives that address structural inequities.