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Louisville District awarded Citation Award for Outstanding Collaborative Planning Project

Published May 13, 2020

The Federal Planning Division of the American Planning Association awarded the Louisville District the Citation Award for Outstanding Collaborative Planning Project for its Selfridge Air National Guard Base – Eisenhower Center’s Veteran Care Transition Center Section 106 Report in Michigan. 

Each year the FPD honors several outstanding planning projects across the United States during their annual conference. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference wasn’t held this year; however, projects were still recognized. 

Projects were submitted to the FPD awards committee for initial recommendations, then submitted to a jury of peers for the award selection. Urban Collaborative nominated the project for an award on behalf of the project sponsor – the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“This project is significant because of its focus on reuse and revitalization to create a valuable resource for the veteran community,” said Rachel Phillips, Louisville District community planner and project manager. “It helps injured veterans receive treatment in a community setting and provides a safe place for them and their families to live while gaining valuable job skills as they transition out of military services.”

According to Phillips, Section 106 is a method that allows consulting parties and the public to be in engaged in the process of exploring alternatives to avoid, minimize and mitigate adverse effects on historic properties. 

USACE contracted with Urban Collaborative, an Architect-Engineer (AE) firm to facilitate stakeholder discussion and to draft the Section 106 Report. The effort also included a “Way Forward Report,” to identify the remaining steps necessary for the completion of the Section 106 programmatic agreement with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.

“Because the process involved a diverse set of stakeholders, the biggest challenge was reaching consensus among differing viewpoints, desires and needs,” Phillips said. 

The Section 106 project at Selfridge Air National Guard Base was a community partnership between the National Guard Bureau, Michigan Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force, the Eisenhower Center brain injury treatment facility and Zero Day, a Veteran assistance non-profit organization.

“It was great to be involved in a project that has the potential to positively impact veterans and their families. It was equally nice to be recognized for a project that is typically viewed as government regulation rather than a collaborative process,” Phillips said. “This project truly represents a community partnership and what can be accomplished when people come together.”

The project team consisted of Rachel Phillips, Nick Lopez, James Cruz, Kelley Parker and Derek Gray.