Ezell's Essence of Athens Wins APA Ohio 2015 Focused Project Award

Knowlton School Associate Professor of Practice in City and Regional Planning and Designing Local Senior Principal Kyle Ezell accepted the American Planning Association's Ohio Chapter's 2015 Focused Project Award for The Essence of Athens: A Strategic Design Plan for Economic Enhancement and Community Competitiveness. APA Michigan served as the jury for the Ohio awards. 

From the jury:

  • The attractive and creative format breaks brand new ground for the role of the planning profession in our communities and is worthy of consideration by planning practitioners in municipalities everywhere.
  • The plan serves a dual purpose of considering the design of every aspect of the community and at the same time serves as an effective marketing tool to attract future residents and employers to Athens.
  • The plan is a unique yet transferable approach to identifying what’s special about the community and capitalizing on those attributes to promote economic development.
  • This refreshing, engaging planning process is imaginative about every aspect of the community, from crosswalk design and lighting to the means and locations by which citizens can express themselves politically.
  • The document is truly comprehensive in scope.


The Ohio planning award was the fourth major juried recognition for the plan since its adoption in October 2014. (Other awards include 2015 Donald E. Hunter Award for Excellence in Economic Development Planning from the Economic Development Division of the American Planning Association; 2015 Vernon Deines Award for an Outstanding Small Town Special Project Plan by the American Planning Association’s Small Town and Rural Division, and an Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architecture (OCASLA)'s Merit Award (2014).

A plaque was presented to Ezell at the APA Ohio Planning Conference luncheon in Toledo on September 25, 2015. APA Ohio President Todd Kinskey, AICP, Director of the Hamilton County Planning & Development Department, noted that this group of award recipients “exemplifies the diversity and high quality of community planning work happening all around the state.”

Contact Kyle Ezell for more information about how The Essence of Athens plan process design will produce entirely local outcomes in your community.

Related People