Growing Smarter Together Awards

Eighth Annual ABAG Growing Smarter Together

Does your city, town or county have a program or project or an elected official-who has taken actions that demonstrate a significant commitment to advancing smart growth principles- and or achieving the regional planning goal of developing sustainable communities. The Association of Bay Area Governments' (ABAG) Growing Smarter Together Awards Program showcases planning and development at the local level that advance smart or “focused sustainable” growth in the Bay Area.

The awards also honor counties, cities, and towns that meet the day-to-day needs of residents and promote conservation efforts that protect vital natural, scenic, and agricultural resource areas. The distinguished leadership category honors the efforts of an elected official from an ABAG area city, town or county. Individual local governments or groups of jurisdictions working in partnership may submit nominations for the regional Growing Smarter Together Awards.

Submittals must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 electronically ( or mailed (or delivered) to ABAG’s offices.


  • Distinguished Leadership Award - Elected Official
  • Start It Up Award
  • On the Ground -- Getting It Done Award: FOCUSed Growth
  • Preserving and Protecting the Environment Award
  • Public-Private Partnership Award
  • Sharing the Benefits Award
  • Building a Better Bay Area - Urban Design Award
  • Powering Forward – Innovation and Technology Award. NEW

NOMINATION AND SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS (Click here for more information)
All entries must include the following information.

  1. Project or policy title or Nominee name
  2. Summary description of nomination, not to exceed 150 words.
  3. Contact information for nominator (Name, address, phone, email). This person will be asked to work with ABAG staff to possibly develop display materials and video for the awards presentation, if the submittal is selected for recognition.
  4. Describe the project or policy or individual achievement. Include significance to the community and the region. This section should also address how the nomination advances the implementation of the FOCUS goals as outlined in the Evaluation Criteria. This section should not exceed 1500 words.
  5. May include up to three letters of recommendation; each letter must identify the nominee, project, or policy. These letters must be included as part of the submittal and are due February 12th.
  6. Supplemental materials may include photographs, plans, marketing materials, press releases, media coverage or any other information that may assist the jury in selecting award winners.
  7. Each page of the nomination must be numbered and identified with the project or nominee name.
  8. All submissions can be submitted electronically via the entry website at OR five copies of all materials can be mailed. ALL materials or submittals must be received or completed by Wednesday, February 12th, by 5 p.m.

A panel of jurors will review and determine the award winners. Jurors will not be obligated to grant an award in any category and/or may choose to consider a nomination in a category other than the one indicated in the submittal.

Nominations will be evaluated on the sustainable community planning goals described in the entry guidelines. These goals evolved from the regional principles adopted by the regional agencies (ABAG, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Conservation and Development District, and Metropolitan Transportation Commission), as part of the Smart Growth Livability Footprint Project, the FOCUS Initiative, and Plan Bay Area. The judging criteria are as follows:

  1. Is this person/project/policy/program clearly described?
  2. Does description of the person/project/policy/program include significance to the community and the region?
  3. Do the supplemental materials support the personal/project description?
  4. Do the letters of recommendation support the nomination?
  5. Does the person/project/policy/program move the regional sustainable community planning goals (described in the Entry Guidelines) toward implementation? And are the categories delineated in the application?
  6. Does the person/project serves as a good example/best practice for the Bay Area, and includes applicable factors such as design quality, transit oriented development, integration with the surrounding community, environmental benefits, and project impact. Is the person.s actions or project significant to the Bay Area?

The Awards will be presented as part of the 2014 Spring General Assembly held on April 17th. Award winners will be notified prior to the General Assembly and will be asked not to publicize the recognition until after the Awards Event.

Contact: ABAG Communications Group with questions

Leah Zippert, Communications Officer, 510-464-7995
Kathleen Cha, Senior Communications Officer, 510-464-7922
Halimah Anderson, Communications Officer, 510-464-7986

Full information about the awards program is included in the Entry Guidelines document.


Descriptions and videos (when available) of previous award winners are below.

2013 · 2012 · 2011 · 2010 · 2009 · 2008 · 2007

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