Allentown’s Downtown Plan Receives National Award

Allentown has earned a Gold 2019 National Planning Achievement Award for Urban Design from the American Planning Association (APA). The award recognizes the city’s Downtown Allentown Development and Urban Design Plan for re-positioning the area as a mixed-use neighborhood to appeal to employers and residents.

In order to be eligible for financing through the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA), downtown development projects must be in general conformance with the Downtown Allentown Development and Urban Design Plan. The plan was prepared by architecture and planning firm Goody Clancy on behalf of the City of Allentown in 2014. The firm remains under contract to ANIZDA to assist with reviewing applications that come before the Authority.

“We are honored to be recognized by the American Planning Association for our Downtown Allentown Development and Urban Design Plan,” said Mayor Ray O’Connell.  “The creation of the Neighborhood Improvement Zone brought jobs into the downtown. The Downtown Allentown Development and Urban Design Plan marries job creation with residential development.  Our investment in great public places and streets is appealing to the residents who are filling the jobs and making our downtown more attractive and welcoming to our hundreds of thousands of workers and visitors.”

Downtown Allentown is one of 20 Achievement Award recipients this year. For a summary of all of the APA 2019 National Planning Excellence and Achievement Award recipients, visit