Last Friday, I was honored to receive the Groundbreaker’s Award from the Pace Land Use Law Center. In presenting the award, Pace cited New Rochelle’s achievements in the areas of sustainability and forward-looking economic development. If you’re interested, you can read my brief acceptance remarks here. Although the award was conferred on me personally, it is more properly seen as recognition for the City’s entire planning and development team.

The award presentation took place during a luncheon in the midst of a day-long conference on planning and land use matters, with more than two hundred attendees. David Kooris of the Regional Plan Association gave an especially thought-provoking keynote that illustrated the local, national, and global value of transit-oriented development, and that placed our current infrastructure priorities in a useful historical context. It is good to be reminded that bold actions, from constructing the Erie Canal to building New York’s robust commuter rail lines, can benefit a region for decades or centuries, and that a rational cost-benefit analysis requires a long view. Kooris also presented statistics highlighting the positive potential of communities like New Rochelle to attract younger workers and compete for investment in a climate of escalating energy costs. Kooris’ presentation obviously loses something without the accompanying narrative, but it’s still worth viewing. (You can download the file here.)