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Beaufort Historic District a Top 10 Great Neighborhood for 2013
(updated Oct. 9, 2013)


Small Town and Rural (STaR) Planning Division Awards
(updated Sep. 5, 2013)


2012 Neighborhood Planning Conference Award
(updated Jun. 3, 2013)






American Planning Association Designates

Beaufort Historic District a Top 10 Great Neighborhood for 2013

Noted for Aesthetics, Sustainability, Preservation, Planning 

BEAUFORT, SC – The American Planning Association (APA) today announced the designation of the Beaufort Historic District as one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2013 under the organization’s Great Places in America program. Each year during National Community Planning Month, APA’s Great Places in America program names 30 exemplary public spaces,  streets and neighborhoods to highlight the role planning and planners play in adding value to communities, including fostering economic growth and jobs.

APA singled out the neighborhood for its well-preserved architecture, sustainable design, natural features and focus on planning. The neighborhood’s beauty and history engender a strong sense of place -- and even stronger sense of community.

“For more than 300 years, Beaufort has maintained a remarkable and renowned ‘hometown’ feeling and character that have always been anchored in the Historic District,” Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said. “For a lot of those years I think many who live here have taken it for granted. It wasn’t until the 1970s that a small group of determined people took a stand to protect Beaufort’s history,” he  continued.

“Today, their hard work, and the hard work of hundreds of others since then, is paying off. Not only is the Beaufort Historic District a ‘Top 10 Great Neighborhood,’ but it’s also an essential part of what keeps Beaufort living and growing. It’s not a museum, it’s a living neighborhood and functioning community,” Mayor Keyserling added.

“The neighborhood’s design reminds us of nature’s powerful impact on the built environment,” said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer, FAICP. “Streets were laid out not only to provide scenic views, but to capitalize on their inherent capacity to heat and cool,” he said, adding, “Nature isn’t always kind. Still, neither hurricane nor fire could permanently destroy this neighborhood or residents’ esprit de corps and perseverance to rebuild that continues to this day.”

Defining the neighborhood are not only scenic vistas and outstanding architecture, some of which dates to Colonial times, but also planning principles, precedents that defined the district upon its inception in 1711, and contemporary practices such as form-based zoning. In response to an 1893 hurricane and 1907 fire residents slowly rebuilt in a way that reinforced the neighborhood’s unique sense of place and community. Redevelopment has continued through the years and today is focused on Bladen Street in the Northwest Quadrant, a traditional African-American settlement.

APA’s Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets and Great Public Spaces feature unique and authentic characteristics that have evolved from years of thoughtful and deliberate planning by residents, community leaders and planners. The 2013 Great Places have many things Americans say are important to their “ideal community” including locally owned businesses, transit, neighborhood parks, and sidewalks. They illustrate how the foresight of planning fosters communities of lasting value.

The nine other APA 2013 Great Neighborhoods are: Chinatown, San Francisco, CA; Downtown Norwich, CT; Downtown Decatur, Decatur, GA; Central Street Neighborhood, Evanston, IL; Downtown Mason City, Mason City, IA; Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood, Covington, KY; Kenwood, Minneapolis, MN;  West Freemason, Norfolk, VA; and Williamson-Marquette Neighborhood, Madison, WI.    

For more information about these neighborhoods, as well as APA’s top 10 Great Streets and top 10 Great Public Spaces for 2013 and previous years, visit For more about National Community Planning Month taking place throughout October visit


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Small Town and Rural (STaR) Planning Division Awards

The Small Town and Rural (STAR) Planning Division invites nominations for its Planning Awards to recognize outstanding individuals and projects for their contribution to planning excellence in small town and rural communities. The program is open to any individual, organization, or consulting firm involved in planning for small town and rural areas. Members of the Awards Committee (and their organizations) are not eligible for an award. Nominated plans, projects, programs and studies must have been completed within two years of the nomination submittal date. For Comprehensive Plans and Special Project Plans prepared by consultants, the award recipient shall be the client for whom the planning activity was conducted.

For More Information Click Here

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2012 Neighborhood Planning Conference Award

Each year the American Planning Association (APA), County Planning Division (CPD) and its sister organization, the National Association of County Planners (NACP) gives out County Planning Project Awards.  There are two types of awards, Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit.  In addition, there are seven categories of awards; Planning Project, Comprehensive Plan – Large Jurisdiction, Comprehensive Plan – Small Jurisdiction, Best Practices, Grass Roots Initiative, Small Area/Special Area Planning and Special Focus Planning Initiative – Senior Livability. 

Richland County Accepted the Award at the County Planning Division's Annual Business Meeting conducted at the APA National Conference in Chicago, IL on April 14, 2013

Award of Merit

Left to Right: CPD President, Tim Brown; Richland County Neighborhood Planner, Tiaa Rutherford; Richland County Planning Director, Tracy Hegler

This year, Richland County, South Carolina is the recipient of an Award of Merit in the Grass Roots Initiative category for the 8th Annual Neighborhood Planning Conference.  The Richland County Council and the Planning and Development Services Department has made it a priority to address the struggling nature of urban communities and rural neighborhoods throughout the County and created the Neighborhood Improvement Program to address those challenges head-on. “The Neighborhood Planning Conference" emerged from this effort as a grassroots level conference that extends beyond the traditional scope of planning, broadens public understanding of the planning process, provides neighborhood outreach initiatives and fulfills unique educational programs designed for special populations. The 8th Annual Neighborhood Planning Conference provided an unparalleled service to over 200 participants.

Please Save-the-Date for the 9th Annual Neighborhood Planning Conference on Saturday October 12, 2013 at the Columbia Convention Center, author and professor Ellen Dunham-Jones will be the keynote speaker.

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South Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association  |  PO Box 10562  |  Rock Hill, South Carolina 29731  |  (803) 479-9445  |