CPEX, Louisiana Speaks honored by Gulf of Mexico Program  

The non-profit Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) was honored with a 2008 Gulf Guardian Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program.  In a ceremony held October 29 in New Orleans, CPEX received a Third Place Award in the Civic/Non-profit Category for its work on the groundbreaking Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan.

The Gulf of Mexico Program initiated the Gulf Guardian Awards in 2000 as a way “to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive.” A first, second, and third place award are given each year in seven categories – individual, business, youth and education, nonprofit organizations, government, partnership and bi-national efforts.

In honoring CPEX for its work on the Louisiana Speaks project, the Gulf of Mexico Program praised the Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan for being “a model for large-scale comprehensive planning, incorporating issues such as storm protection and coastal restoration, land use patterns and transportation systems, and economic development and housing.”

“Gulf Guardian award winners represent the very best in efforts to ensure the Gulf of Mexico region remains a place where people, industry, and the environment can continue to thrive,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “Their accomplishments are making a positive difference for everyone, and EPA is pleased to recognize their environmental leadership.”

The Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan transformed input from 27,000 citizens, technical analysis, and a unique integration of social, spatial and economic recovery and growth planning into specific actions that embraced the region’s history, while providing steps toward “a more prosperous and resilient future.”  The Regional Plan and supporting documents reinforced the concept of “sustainability” in building new communities, while encouraging redevelopment and reinvestment in current cities and towns. The plan was developed in close cooperation with other independent, parallel planning efforts, including those of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA).

“We at the Center for Planning Excellence are proud to accept this award from the Gulf of Mexico Program on behalf of the thousands of Louisiana Speaks Plan participants and supporters. Without their hard work and dedication, this incredible plan would not exist,” said Elizabeth “Boo” Thomas, President and CEO of the Center for Planning Excellence. “This honor will serve as an inspiration to us all as we continue our efforts to implement the plan’s recommendations.”

The Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan was developed by Calthorpe Associates, a Berkeley, California-based design firm internationally recognized for its innovative leadership in urban design, community planning, and regional growth strategies. It has received numerous awards, including a prestigious Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism. The 2008 Gulf Guardian Awards were awarded in conjunction with the Gulf of Mexico Program’s 20th Anniversary Celebration. The awards ceremony was held at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans.

For more about the Center for Planning Excellence, visit www.planningexcellence.org.

Center for Planning Excellence is a non-profit organization that helps South Louisiana communities define and realize their visions by providing models, tools, and expertise for inclusive planning processes.  CPEX cultivates progressive, sustainable planning and design practices that build upon the best and most regionally unique traditions of Louisiana.

The Gulf of Mexico Program began in 1988 to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. The Gulf of Mexico Program is underwritten by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders from all five Gulf States. The Gulf Program seeks to improve the environmental health of the Gulf in concert with economic development and is proud to be celebrating 20 years of successful partnerships to protect the Gulf of Mexico.

Home | Planning Process | Our Vision | Download Newsletter | FAQ | Links
© 2009 by KnowledgePlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved.