A Celebration of Excellence in Public Participation:
The IAP2 USA Core Values Awards

What are the IAP2 Core Values Awards?

Each year, IAP2 affiliates around the world recognize leaders in the profession through the IAP2 Core Values Awards. The awards go to projects which best demonstrate IAP2's Core Values and help to raise the bar in the field of public engagement by sharing best practices and inspiring the P2 community to learn from one another. 

Competition for the 2022 AP2 USA Core Values Awards offered some outstanding projects. Our appreciation goes to our judges for their challenging work. 

Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision making process.

Congratulations 2022 Core Values Award Winners!

The 2022 IAP2 USA Core Values Awards were presented September 15, 2022 at the North American Conference Core Values Awards Celebration in Banff, Canada. 

2022 IAP2 USA Core Values Award Winners

Core Values Award: General Project

"Project Connect - Austin Transit Partnership"

Austin, Texas

Project Connect - Austin Transit Partnership

International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) USA awarded Austin Transit Partnership, Austin, TX the 2021 IAP2 USA Core Values Award in the General Project Category for Project Connect-Austin Transit Partnership.

Project Connect is the transformative, voter-approved investment in new transit services for the Austin, TX area. Austin Transit Partnership (ATP) was created by the City of Austin and the Capital Metro Transportation Authority as the independent entity, accountable and responsible for the financing, design, construction, and overall implementation of the new transit service.  ATP’s charge is to deliver on the Austin voters’ transit vision in partnership with the community – and in a way that embeds equity, sustainability, and transparency as overarching priorities.  

The Project Connect plan includes building two new light rail lines, which will impact dozens of neighborhoods. The question for the ATP team was how can we effectively engage these communities who have the most at-stake to inform them of design plans and get their input during a pandemic, precluding in-person engagement activities?

“Project Connect is rooted in community. Guided by public participation, we’re creating a transit system that better connects our community, now and in the future, said Greg Canally, Interim CEO, Austin Transit Partnership. “Our resilient engagement team allowed us to make great strides in our commitment to delivering on this vision. From language accessibility, hybrid engagements, and grassroots outreach, managing through the pandemic was a team lift. We’re honored to be recognized by the IAP2 board and receive the 2022 Core Values Award.”

As a result of their efforts, the team did a good job of meeting people where they “are”, identifying the communities that needed to be heard, and tailoring the techniques to the different audiences. Additionally, it is evident that they truly listened and reacted to community concerns by going back to the drawing board and changing some of the initial plans and designs. ATP’s inclusive, whole-community approach sets a standard for 21st Century public participation.

“The organization was committed and genuine in their intent and implementation of the project, said IAP2 President Heather Imboden. “They fully embraced the role of the public and the input they received.”


Read Submission    

IAP2 USA Diversity, Inclusion and Culture Core Values Award:

"Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan "

by City of Charlotte, NC


Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan 

International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) USA awarded the City of Charlotte, NC the 2022 IAP2 USA Core Values Award in the Creativity and Innovation Category. Also named IAP2 USA project of the year, it moves forward to the IAP2 International competition for judging at the international level.

The project, Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, innovated how communities grapple with the legacy of redlining, urban renewal, race-based policies, and exclusion of minority groups in planning for their future. The synergy of unique participation techniques, groundbreaking equity analyses, and carefully constructed conversations on the lived experiences of minority voices, created a vision of help and hope for Charlotteans. 

Public participation helped guide the plan’s Equitable Growth Framework that represented the community’s diverse lived experiences and showcased the creativity and resiliency of the City’s public engagement strategies. Good metrics were used to evaluate the participation effort and to make changes. 

“The city took extra care to accommodate public participants during the pandemic," said IAP2 President Heather Imboden. “The project was a fine example of active and inclusive public participation.”


Read Submission    

Honorable Mention:

"Grand Marais Reconstruction Project"

Minnesota Department of Transportation

International Awards to be Announced Soon 

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) will soon announce the 2022 International Core Values Awards honoring award winners from around the world.

These award winners represent best practice in our field and serve as model of excellence for others to emulate. Winners and finalists are recognized for their contributions to the field in the areas of indigenous engagement, community development, health, infrastructure, environment, disaster and emergency services as well as for their creativity, innovation and inclusion. This is a testament to the tremendous expansion, professionalism and impact of our field of expertise.

Finalists for the ’best of the best international awards were gathered from entries submitted by IAP2 Regions in Australasia, Canada, and United States.

Details coming soon.

2022 IAP2 USA Core Values Award Judges

Cheryl Hilvert

Lewis Michaelson

Marty Rozelle

Doug Sarno

Cheryl Hilvert is a management and leadership consultant providing education and technical assistance for local governments on key management strategies designed to enhance organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Read more.

Lewis Michaelson is a past-president, life member, and licensed trainer for IAP2 and a member of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution Roster of Neutrals. Read more.

Dr. Marty Rozelle has 35 years of experience in public policy development, third-party facilitation, process design, and conflict resolution. Read more.

Doug Sarno is a Master Certified Public Participation Professional (MCP3) and Licensed IAP2 trainer with over 30 years of experience in a wide range of disciplines that support participatory decision-making. Read more.

Sarah Dechter is the Comprehensive Planning Manager at City of Flagstaff where her job is to provide leadership and vision in implementing the Flagstaff's Regional Plan and developing small area plans. Her Core Values Project won both the U.S. and the Interternational Project of the Year award in 2020. Read more.



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