Port Arthur Plan Wins Texas APA Award

Shad Comeaux

Congratulations to the project team for the Port Arthur Downtown Revitalization Plan, which has received the 2016 Long-Range Planning Award from the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). The team accepted the recognition at the Texas APA annual conference in San Antonio on Nov. 4.

The award recognizes the plan for its original, holistic approach to revitalization. Downtown plans are often difficult for cities to implement because they do not address realities such as market forces or infrastructure. So, for Port Arthur, our team capitalized on Freese and Nichols’ diverse expertise, engaging four different disciplines to mesh visioning with engineering. The resulting Downtown Revitalization Plan is the first in the nation to integrate a market analysis, economic development framework, infrastructure assessment, capital improvement plan and urban design all into one document. The plan is now set to guide Port Arthur for many years as the City makes its vision a reality.

A special presentation was made at the Port Arthur City Council meeting Nov. 14; copies of the award were given to Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas and the Port Arthur Economic Development Corp. for funding the $731,000 study that was adopted by the Council in May 2016. City staff will pursue national recognition during the national APA conference in New York in May 2017.