Ontario Professional Planners Institute announces Excellence in Planning Award Winners, Healthy Communities Award and Honorary Member

    TORONTO, Sept. 12 /CNW/ - The Ontario Professional Planners Institute
(OPPI) today announced the 2008 winners of the Excellence in Planning award,
the inaugural winner of the joint OPPI/Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Healthy Communities award and released the name of the newest Honorary Member
of the Institute. These announcements celebrate the 'best of the best' in
    The Excellence in Planning Awards recognize innovation, creativity,
professionalism, problem-solving, and communications in four categories: urban
and community design, planning studies or reports, research/new directions,
and public education. This year's winners were chosen from approximately 30

    The Excellence in Planning Awards will go to:

    -  Regions of York, Halton, Peel and Durham and the cities of Toronto,
       Mississauga and Hamilton for the Smart Commute initiative

    -  Niagara Economic Development Department and Peter J. Smith for
       "Energizing Niagara's Wine Country"

    -  City of Ottawa for Urban Design Guidelines for the Development Review

    -  City of Toronto for Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines

    -  Town of Markham for Markham Small Streams Study

    -  City of Brampton and MMM Group for the Incineration and Waste
       Processing Transfer and Disposal Study

    In addition, this is the inaugural year of the Healthy Communities Award.
Established jointly by OPPI and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario,
the award was created to recognize excellence in creating healthy communities.
    "We are pleased to work in partnership with OPPI to create this award."
says Rocco Rossi, CEO. As more awards are handed out in the ensuing years, we
will soon be able to truly call Ontario, a healthy province."

    The Healthy Communities award will go to:

    -  Regions of York, Halton, Peel and Durham and the cities of Toronto,
       Mississauga and Hamilton for the Smart Commute initiative

    "The Smart Commute Initiative is another example of the leading practices
that are being pursued in the Greater Toronto Area to cope with the immense
growth that is anticipated over the next 30 years," said OPPI President Wayne
Caldwell, MCIP, RPP. "We are pleased to recognize this project for its vision,
impact and commitment to actions that lead to environmental enhancement."
    OPPI also announced the appointment Mr. Rossi as an Honorary Member of
the Institute. He is only the second person to be awarded Honorary Membership
in OPPI. Honorary Membership recognizes the work of non-planners who advance
the cause of planning. The decision signals the commitment of Ontario planners
to fostering healthy communities and acknowledges Mr. Rossi's contribution to
promoting exercise and fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle.
    The Excellence in Planning Awards, Healthy Communities Award and the
Honorary Membership will be awarded at a ceremony taking place on the evening
of Thursday, September 18, 2008, Clarion Pinewood Park Resort in North Bay.
The ceremony is part of the 2008 symposium of the Ontario Professional
Planners Institute, which will focus on the theme "The Grey Tsunami: Aging
Communities and Planning."
    For further information, including details on the Excellence in Planning
awards, the Healthy Communities award and the Honorary Member, go to:

    OPPI is the recognized voice of the Province's planning profession. Its
more than 3,000 members work in government, private practice, universities,
and non-profit agencies in the fields of urban and rural development, urban
design, environmental planning, transportation, health and social services,
heritage conservation, housing, and economic development.

For further information:

For further information: Loretta Ryan, MCIP, RPP, CAE, (416) 668-8469
(cell), policy@ontarioplanners.on.ca

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