Planning organization recognizes Forward OP

The Kansas Chapter of the American Planning Association has awarded Forward OP, Overland Park’s community vision and strategic plan, with its 2019 Pioneer award.

The award recognizes institutions that have demonstrated creativity and innovation by using planning to meet a community need or solve a public problem.

Forward OP was developed in 2018 with a year-long public feedback process, involving three rounds of community input. It outlines a path of continued success for the next 20-25 years in Overland Park, and urges the community to find ways to be forward-thinking, welcoming, and innovative. City Council adopted the community vision in February of 2018.

APA Kansas recognized Forward OP as a sustainable community vision that has the ability to be implemented because of support it received from the community.

“What was most impressive was how the many diverse voices of people who know and care about their community ended coalescing around the same keys to a better future,” said Forward OP Co-Chair Greg Musil.

A 26-member steering committee acted as champions for the plan, hosting community events and encouraging a diverse group of residents, business owners, visitors, employers, workers, and others to get involved at in-person meetings and with online activities.

The American Planning Association will recognize the community vision during an awards ceremony at its 2019 quad-state conference next week in Tulsa, Okla.