By Alyssa Schnugg
The city of Oxford was recently recognized by the Mississippi Chapter of the American Planning Association and given two awards for having some of the best planning practices in the state.
These awards are awarded annually at the Mississippi chapter’s annual conference.
New for 2019, the Great Places in Mississippi Awards are part of a similar program of the national American Planning Association. The Great Places in Mississippi awards program recognizes communities committed to planning for and creating, great places. The objective is to raise awareness of these places in the state.
“Being recognized as a Great Public Space Great Street, or Great Neighborhood in Mississippi demonstrates the importance of planning and illustrates how local policies and projects strengthen our communities,” said Oxford Planning Director Ben Requet on Tuesday.
Oxford’s Downtown Square is the inaugural winner for the 2019 Great Public Space in Mississippi.
The award celebrates the historic downtown Square in Oxford, long the center of culture and economy in this city, with an enduring and special sense of place.
“We are so excited to be able to honor these Great Places in Mississippi,” said Thomas Gregory, Chapter President of APA Mississippi. “Mississippi is home to so many wonderful streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces, and we are proud to honor these Great Places as part of our annual awards presentation. We look forward to continuing our Great Places in Mississippi program for many years to come.”
The Mississippi Chapter of the American Planning Association also presented awards for achievement in several areas of planning each year. The city of Oxford, along with planning consultants Orion Planning + Design, were the recipients of this year’s Best Large Project in a Community of Over 15,000 Population for the Vision 2037 Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code.
“This award celebrates the creation of a Comprehensive Plan and new Land Development Codes that reflect new directions for the city of Oxford to protect and enhance the best of the past while allowing and encouraging growth following a path of creating places, not just buildings,” Requet said.