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 2020 Awards 

In 2020, APA Orange Section honored six nominees with Awards of Excellence and five nominees with Awards of Merit. Representing a wide range of planning pursuits, our 2020 award winners embody excellence in long-range planning, urban design, public engagement, transportation planning, academic achievement, and inclusivity. The Orange Section congratulates this year’s section award winners and thanks all of our nominees for sharing their inspiring work. We wish our winners the best of luck as they contend for state-level awards. 

Circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from scheduling an awards ceremony in 2020. In lieu of an Awards Ceremony, the Awards Committee prepared this short video introducing the 2020 award winners.    

Awards Jurors:

Julie Beeman, VCS Environmental Services

David Blumenthal, Sagecrest Planning+Environmental

Julia Malisos, WHA | William Hezmalhalch Architects

John Rau, Ultra-Research, Inc.

Michelle Thrakulchavee, City Ventures

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2020 Award Winners.

Awards of Excellence




Tustin Rail Station Active Transportation Plan

Ines Galmiche, UC Irvine MURP

Comprehensive Plan

Local Hazard Mitigation PlanCity of Rancho Santa Margarita, DeNovo Planning Group, Michael Baker International

Hard-Won Victories

The SR-241-SR-91 Tolled Express Lanes Connector Project

Transportation Corridor Agencies, California Department of Transportation


Opportunity and Empowerment

Health, Wellness, and Environmental Justice Element of the Placentia General Plan

City of Placentia, High Peaks Planning


Transportation Planning


Garden Grove Active Downtown Plan

City of Garden Grove, KOA Corporation


Urban Design

SteelCraft Garden Grove

City of Garden Grove, Howard CDM, SteelCraft, Studio One Eleven

Awards of Merit




Water Conservation and Recycled Water Nexus

Shin-Young John Yu, UC Irvine MURP

Comprehensive Plan


Rich Heritage, Bright Future: The Placentia General Plan

City of Placentia, High Peaks Planning


Economic Development


Huntington Beach Research and Technology Zone

City of Huntington Beach, RRM Design Group, The Natelson Dale Group


Planning Firm


SWA Group


Transportation Planning


OC Active: Orange County’s Bike + Ped Plan

OCTA, IBI, KTUA, Placeworks, Arellano Associates

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