Heissenbuttel Award for Planning Excellence

At the New York Planning Federation’s recent 77th Annual Planning & Zoning Conference, held at The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, NY, Rebuild by Design was honored with the Heissenbuttel Award for Planning Excellence. The award is given each year to an individual, municipality or agency for outstanding accomplishment in the planning field and is named in honor of Henry Heissenbuttel, the former director of the Dutchess County Planning Department.

An innovative design competition created in response to physical and social vulnerabilities uncovered by Hurricane Sandy, Rebuild by Design was supported by private philanthropy, partner organizations and HUD, as it created a process that combined design thinking with cross-sector collaboration to develop innovative and implementable designs for regional resiliency. Its creative process represents an evolutionary step forward in sound planning practice that addresses some of our most pressing challenges.

The process involved countless meetings held by ten interdisciplinary teams to create workable proposals that addressed local problems and championed local visions. Throughout the process, the teams continually tested and refined these proposals to ensure that the final designs were not only implementable regionally, but would also be replicable on a worldwide basis. Today, Rebuild by Design continues to work with local communities and government agencies to ensure that the depiction of a resilient future becomes a reality.

“Our awards committee felt that this could be a model used by any community that has felt the devastating effects of nature’s force,” said NYPF Executive Director, Judith Breselor, AICP. “We were so pleased that representatives from Rebuild by Design could join us at the conference to accept the award in person.”

Founded in 1937, the New York Planning Federation is a statewide, member-supported nonprofit, and the only New York State organization that targets its training to planning boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal. Its mission is to promote sound planning, land use and zoning practice in New York which fosters orderly growth and development, balanced with the protection of natural resources. The annual three-day conference brings together some 300 elected and appointed municipal officials, professional planners and land use attorneys representing municipalities and firms from around the state. For more information, visit www.nypf.org.

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