Submitting a Nomination

Categories and Criteria

The APA-NC Awards Program includes Great Places Awards and Marvin Collins Planning Awards. These awards are presented annually to recognize the places, projects, and people representing the highest levels of achievement in the North Carolina planning community. Brief biographies of the individuals for whom awards are named are provided below following the awards descriptions. To submit an award click here.

Great Places

NC Great Places was established in 2012 to highlight North Carolina's great places and those that have nurtured them. North Carolina is home to many amazing places. They are more than just geographic locations; they have taken on an identity over time that supports a high quality of life, sustains the local economy, and allows the community to thrive. Sustaining and improving these places requires collaboration among many groups within the community, such as citizens, planners, business leaders, and elected officials. This is a chance for everyone to celebrate together!

Great Place for Equity Recognizes 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.
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.

Marvin Collins Planning Awards

Projects & Programs

Award-winning projects and programs show high quality, originality, and innovation, as well as a degree of transferability. They are also impactful, in that they address a known community need and position the community for a stronger, more equitable future.

Advancing Equity Recognizes a project or program that meaningfully involves historically underrepresented groups, positively impacts quality of life for low- or moderate-income individuals, and/or achieves planning objectives that address structural inequities.
Resilience & Sustainability Recognizes a strategy that creates a more sustainable community and/or increases the ability of a community to recover from and adapt to shocks and stresses.
Comprehensive Plan 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 Recognizes significant achievement in accomplishing positive changes as a result of planning , with an emphasis on long-term, measurable results.
Engagement 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.
Student Project Recognizes high-quality student work that increases the understanding of the value of planning.


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

Timeline & Online Submissions (Submittable)

Nominations for awards may be submitted when the call is issued in late Spring. After the submittal window has closed, the Awards Committee will review the nominations and determine award recipients prior to the Chapter’s annual conference in October.

The Chapter uses an online portal for submitting nominations. Once the call for nominations is issued, nominations may be submitted at

Award Names & History

Marvin Collins

Marvin Collins served as Planning Director for Orange County, North Carolina, and first developed the idea for a statewide awards program, which the chapter established in 1975. Marvin Collins was a recipient of a Professional Achievement Award just prior to his death in 1998. His service to the planning profession in North Carolina was further honored posthumously in 2000 when, on its 25th anniversary, the awards program was renamed in his honor.

Philip R. Green, Jr.

During a career that spanned almost 40 years, Philip Green wrote some of the definitive works on North Carolina’s zoning law, organized some of the state’s first short courses for planners, and drafted a good portion of the General Assembly’s planning and zoning enabling legislation still in force today. Many people have referred to Mr. Green as the “father of North Carolina zoning.” Mr. Green graduated from Princeton College and Harvard Law School. He served in the Army during WWII and retired from the Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel. In his professional career, Mr. Green was the Albert Coates Professor of Public Law and Government for many years at the Institute of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill, a post from which he retired in 1988. During his 38 years there, Mr. Green became known as a prolific writer and an outstanding teacher and lecturer.

Perhaps Mr. Green’s greatest contribution to North Carolina, however, was the counsel and support that he provided to thousands of planners, local government attorneys, planning and governing boards members, and code enforcement officers. In the days before listservs, e-mail, or even computers, a telephone call or letter to Mr. Green was a surefire way to get the definitive information one needed. Indeed, Mr. Green once said that the most satisfying part of his work was helping the people whose jobs were the most difficult because they appreciated it the most.

In recognition of his many career achievements, Mr. Green received the NCAPA Distinguished Service Award, which is now named in his honor. Similar honors were bestowed upon him by the N.C. Association of Zoning Officials, the N.C. Municipal Attorneys’ Association, and the N.C. Building Inspectors’ Association. Upon his retirement from UNC, Mr. Green was lauded as the state’s pre-eminent expert in planning and zoning law and as one of the true planning legends in North Carolina.

Robert E. Reiman

Robert Reiman, FAICP was a highly regarded teacher and mentor of undergraduate planning students from 1975 to 1989. He was also very active in North Carolina APA chapter affairs and community service. After retiring from teaching, he continued training local governmental staff, facilitating groups doing strategic planning, and served as a county zoning administrator. Reiman was inducted into the APA College of Fellows in 1999.