The American Planning Association-North Carolina Chapter awarded the Marvin Collins Award to the Town of Carrboro at the 2022 North Carolina Planning Conference from Sept. 13 to 16.
The Marvin Collins Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have completed outstanding planning programs or made notable contributions to the planning profession. Carrboro was awarded for its comprehensive plan in a town with a population of less than 25,000.
“Part of the reason the awards are given by the North Carolina chapter is because of the opportunity or the possibility that the approach that was used here might be beneficial in another community,” Trish McGuire, the Town of Carrboro’s planning director, said.
The Town won the award for its Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan, which focuses on racial equity and climate action.
The plan's goals include supporting local businesses, expanding affordable housing options and increasing access to open spaces like parks and outdoor facilities. It includes short-term and long-term initiatives that plan twenty years into the future.
The Carrboro Town Council voted unanimously in favor of its adoption in June 2022.
McGuire said Carrboro Connects was given the green light in early 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown was issued by Gov. Roy Cooper.
According to the plan, Carrboro Connects was drafted with consideration to current political issues such as the global health crisis, social unrest about racial inequity and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Carrboro's focus on race and equity has been in development for years, furthered since joining the Government Alliance for Race and Equity(GARE) in 2018, McGuire said. GARE principles were incorporated into each part of the One Orange Racial Equity Framework, which Carrboro adopted in February.