The City of St. Louis was presented with the APA's 2014 Missouri State Award for an Outstanding Program, Project, and Community Initiative for the City's Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative.
The first City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan was formally adopted by the City's Planning Commission in January 2013. To encourage broader implementation of the plan,the City launched a Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative. Two initial efforts were creating a Sustainable Neighborhood Toolkit of resources and holding a Sustainable Neighborhood Small Grant Competition..
The Sustainability Toolkit was produced featuring 27 how-to tools for implementing specific neighborhood-scale sustainability projects, including general tips about neighborhood-level organizing, fundraising, and highlighting local resources and case studies.
By utilizing the Toolkit, neighborhood groups are inspired and empowered to make sustainable changes in their community by providing them with the tools and resources for neighborhood-scale implementation of the City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan.
"The Missouri APA Awards Review Jury was impressed with how The City of St. Louis Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative made 'sustainability' relevant to neighborhoods. With concrete ideas and opportunities that community leaders can pick and choose from based on what works best for their neighborhood, this Initiative answers the 'what now' question for that critical period that occurs after a plan is adopted." – MO-APA
In addition, the National American Planning Association honored the Central West End with a 2014 Great Places in America - Great Neighborhood Award. Previously, St. Louis was awarded two Great Streets -- Wash Ave and Delmar; a Great Public Space -- Forest Park; and now, the trifecta -- the Great Neighborhood award for the Central West End.
The 112-block Central West End (CWE) neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, features a European-vibe that includes sidewalk cafes, restaurants, boutiques, museums, and popular visitor attractions located in award-winning Forest Park and situated in the area between Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis University, and the CORTEX Innovation District.
The Great Places program is the APA's "flagship program" that "celebrates places of exemplary character, quality, and planning. Places are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow."
The APA describes Great Places as those that "offer better choices for where and how people work and live. They are enjoyable, safe, and desirable. They are places where people want to be —not only to visit, but to live and work every day. America's truly great streets, neighborhoods and public spaces are defined by many criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement."
The MO-APA is comprised of professionals involved in planning and community building throughout the state whose purpose is to advance the art and science of planning in Missouri.