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MMD Project Wins American Planning Association’s 2023 National Planning Award for Planning Excellence
26 October, 2023

MMD Project Wins American Planning Association’s 2023 National Planning Award for Planning Excellence

The American Planning Association’s 2023 National Planning Awards were announced on October 25; The Cody Rouge & Warrendale YOUTH-CENTRIC Neighborhood Framework project was awarded The Planning Excellence Award.

MMD is proud to be part of the winning planning team, which included HECTOR urban design as the project lead and the following as team members alongside MMD: Centric Design Studio; Hinge Collective; Marc Norman; Tiny WPA; The Work Department; University of Orange Cody Rouge & Warrendale Organizational Steering Committee and Youth Council.

Clients for the project were the City of Detroit Planning & Development Department and Cody Rouge Initiative.

As a result of this work and the city’s initiatives, Detroit is now the first major US city to complete a comprehensive neighborhood plan backed with investments that puts youth at the center of planning and decisionmaking.

Our team’s plan advances the idea of working directly with young people in the process of planning for their neighborhoods. Our plan created a groundbreaking partnership with city officials, community leaders and young people on Detroit’s far west side.

The result? Young residents worked hand in hand with city leaders and resident organizations to identify community needs and design creative solutions. The resulting partnerships ensure young residents feel empowered, included and are true decisionmakers in shaping the present and future of their communities.

According to the jury: “A challenge we have in this day and age is a risk of seeing hopelessness in the next generation. The level of youth empowerment in the planning portion through to implementation makes a fantastic example for planning efforts in other places.”

“We were so inspired by the research, dedication and insight of these young people who are so invested in their neighborhoods,” said MMD’s Michael Marshall. “As an architect who decided as a young child I wanted to help build my city, I personally understand this passion. Seeing it for myself in this next generation of leaders leaves me with great hope and optimism for the future of socially-just and equitable communities.”

The National Planning Award ceremony will be a part of the 2024 National Planning Conference, to be held in Minneapolis April 13-16 and online May 8-10. Learn more here.

View all the 2023 winners by visiting: