HR&A Projects Recognized with American Planning Association Awards


We are delighted to announce that three of HR&A’s projects were recently recognized by the American Planning Association (APA) with its prestigious annual accolades: the New York Metro Chapter of the APA awarded the Strategic Plan to Reposition the Brooklyn Tech Triangle with the Meritorious Achievement Award, the Missouri Chapter of the APA awarded the Expansion Strategy for the St. Louis Zoo with the Outstanding Plan Award, and Arlington County’s Community Energy Plan was named winner of the APA 2014 National Planning Achievement Award in Environmental Planning.


The 2013 NY APA Meritorious Achievement Award recognizes work of unusual achievement, in this case the Brooklyn Tech Triangle (BTT) Strategic Plan, released on June 18th. The BTT strategic plan focuses on how to secure the Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard areas as the 2nd largest cluster of tech and creative companies in New York City. Individually, these neighborhoods have attracted the interest of innovative tenants in the last several years, especially in DUMBO, which has become a recognized tech hub. As part of a consultant team led by WXY Architecture + Urban Design, HR&A spearheaded the real estate and economic analysis supporting policy recommendations to foster the area’s tech sector growth. HR&A helped develop a working definition of the target tech and creative industry sectors, assessed the current status of tech and creative companies in the Tech Triangle area, and recommended changes in public and private real estate development and management policies. Other members of the WXY team considered workforce development, transportation, and open space and streetscape strategies to foster the growth of the technology and creative economy in the area.


We are equally excited to share that the 2013 Missouri APA Outstanding Planning Award, which advances the science and art of planning through originality and innovation, engagement, implementation and effectiveness, honors our Saint Louis Zoo Expansion Framework Plan. For years the St. Louis Zoo has explored opportunities to expand its footprint across I-64, as it cannot accommodate its growing need for additional exhibition, back-of-house, parking, retail, and research space within its current location. In 2012, the Zoo acquired a hospital site located across I-64 from the Zoo, affording the Zoo this long-sought opportunity to grow. At the same time, the Zoo faces a challenge in devising a means to join the two sites across the interstate. HR&A was part of a multi-disciplinary team engaged to complete a framework plan for the 13-acre hospital site. To support this effort, HR&A conducted an analysis identifying market supportable uses for the site. In addition, HR&A analyzed the Zoo’s business operations to project the financial implications of utilizing the site to expand zoo attractions and program the new property.


The 2014 National Planning Achievement Award in Environmental Planning honors efforts to create greener communities that reduce the impact of development on the natural environment and improve environmental quality. HR&A advised on the development and implementation of Arlington County’s Community Energy Plan (CEP). The CEP for Arlington provides a comprehensive approach to reducing the County’s greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent between 2013 and the year 2040. The plan advocates for improving energy generation, use, and distribution to create substantial economic, environmental, and quality of life benefits for the businesses and residents of the County. The Plan promotes a number of goals, which address residential and commercial building energy efficiency, implementation of renewable and district energy systems, transportation-related carbon reduction strategies, general County activities, and outreach and education. HR&A recommended implementation actions and public outreach approaches to advance the Plan and its goals, which included incentive and regulatory approaches, improvements to securing approvals, and social media. On Saturday, June 15, 2013, the Arlington County Board unanimously adopted the CEP as part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan, approved the Implementation Framework Plan, and directed the establishment of a CEP Implementation Review Committee.