City Planner, Bonnie Nickerson, Awarded Prestigious 2013 Distinguished Leadership Award

PROVIDENCE, RI – Bonnie Nickerson, director of long-range planning, for the City of Providence’s Department of Planning and Development, was presented the 2013 Distinguished Leadership Award by the American Planning Association Rhode Island chapter, late last week, “in recognition of her ongoing contributions to the practice of planning in Rhode Island.” The award was made at the chapter’s annual holiday and awards celebration, honoring the best  of the state’s planning efforts.

“I’m honored to be recognized by the RIAPA, but the award is really for our entire fantastic planning staff that is doing great work and elevating the City’s planning efforts with their talent, commitment and professionalism,” Nickerson said.

“Bonnie Nickerson is a very skilled planner and certainly deserves this award,” said Director of Planning and Development Ruben Flores-Marzan. “She is a true reflection of the excellence we have here, in Providence’s planning office.”

The prestigious award was made before more than one hundred area planners, engineers, architects and allied professionals,  and was the only individual award given that evening.  According to their website,, the Distinguished Leadership Award is given to “a professional planner, elected official or citizen planner for sustained contribution to the profession through distinguished practice, teaching or writing.”

Other 2013 awards and recipients included:

Award for Outstanding Neighborhood Planning

Woonsocket Main Street Livability Plan
City of Woonsocket, RiverzEdge Art Project, and YWCA of Northern Rhode Island

Award for Outstanding Plan Implementation

East Providence Waterfront Special Development District Plan
City of East Providence

Award for Outstanding Comprehensive Planning

Richmond Comprehensive Plan
Town of Richmond

Award for Outstanding Public Space Project
Lots of Hope
Southside Community Land Trust and the City of Providence

Special Topic Award: Food Systems
New Urban Farmers

Distinguished Leadership Award
Bonnie Nickerson, Providence Department of Planning and Development

Award for Outstanding Student Project
Dale Carlia Corners
University of Rhode Island Landscape Architecture Program and Town of South Kingstown

According to APA Rhode Island, their mission is to, “positively shape the planning profession by providing a forum for the understanding and application of sound planning principles within the State of Rhode Island and to provide leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating and recognizing excellence in community planning. We do this through advocacy, networking, outreach and professional development.”


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