City News

Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth deemed top comprehensive plan in the Nation

Richmond, VA The recently adopted citywide Master Plan, Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth, has been awarded the 2021 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan from the American Planning Association (APA). This award recognizes an innovative plan that helps create a more prosperous and equitable community for current and future residents and raises awareness of the importance of planning.

“Richmond is a prime example of how planning can help a community begin to overcome past wrongs like redlining and practices that unfairly excluded specific populations from access to opportunity,” said Kristen Asp, AICP, 2021 APA awards jury chair. “This plan, combined with their laser focus on implementation, is an example for other communities around the country on how planning can and should address systemic racism.”

Years of work by City staff, as well as thousands of residents, business owners, and other community members, resulted in the adoption of Richmond 300 in December 2020. The Department of Planning and Development Review (PDR), and specifically the Office of Equitable Development, are now working to implement the recommendations of the plan, which seek to achieve the outlined vision over the next 20 years.

“This recognition of Richmond 300 by the American Planning Association is a testament to all the hard work over many hours by the thousands of community members that participated in this planning process,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “Overcoming years of divestment, specifically in our Black and Brown communities, is an immense task, and Richmond 300 steps away from the status quo and provides bold yet sound approaches to combatting inequities by adopting to our changing environment, addressing affordable housing needs, and fostering economic inclusion.”

The Plan sets the overall vision for the future of the city and provides high-level recommendations to create a more equitable, sustainable, and beautiful Richmond for its 300th birthday in 2037. The Plan outlines specific recommendations across five topics: high-quality places, equitable transportation, diverse economy, inclusive housing, and thriving environment.

“We’re grateful and humbled to serve as trusted advisors to the city for Richmond 300 and are thrilled the plan is receiving this honor from APA,” said Mike McIntyre, program director with AECOM, lead consultant firm for Richmond 300. “From the start, our goal was to break the mold and build this plan with maximum transparency and community input. This award belongs to every person who got involved, lent their voice, and helped shape Richmond 300 into something we can all be proud of. We’re excited for our city’s next chapter!”

The sheer breadth and length of any comprehensive plan can make it difficult to execute; therefore, Richmond 300, outlines 6 Big Moves to deliberately advance over the next 5 years:

  • Re-write the Zoning Ordinance
  • Re-Imagining Priority Growth Nodes
  • Expand Housing Opportunities
  • Provide Greenways and Parks for All
  • Reconnect the City
  • Realign City Facilities

“Creating Richmond 300 is the first step in envisioning a more equitable Richmond,” said Maritza Mercado Pechin, AICP, PDR Deputy Director and Manager of the Office of Equitable Development. “I am looking forward to continuing to engage the Richmonders as we collectively implement the recommendations in the plan.”

The Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth can be found on the City’s website at:

More information on the 2021 APA Award recipients can be found at:


The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The more than 40,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, APA’s Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to good planning. APA is based in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at


Roberta Rewers, APA Communications Manager, 312-786-6395;