The City of Lancaster and internationally recognized architects and urbanists Moule & Polyzoides were recently honored with the 2011 Award of Merit for Planning Excellence in Implementation, Small Jurisdiction from the American Planning Association - Los Angeles Section for implementation of the Downtown Lancaster Specific Plan.

The American Planning Association (APA), Los Angeles Section hosts the annual Awards Ceremony to recognize outstanding planning and environmental achievements by individuals, cities, and businesses in the Los Angeles area. This year's event was held June 22 at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and highlighted the achievements of southern California's brightest and most innovative cities; among the cities recognized was the City of Lancaster.

The award was presented to the Lancaster City Council at the June 28 council meeting.

"From its inception, the goal of the Downtown Lancaster Specific Plan has been to bring the citizens of Lancaster closer together, providing a pedestrian friendly atmosphere thriving with entertainment, retail, and dining venues," said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. "This award recognizes the vision and dedication of city planners, council members, and citizens to revitalize the downtown districts, making Lancaster the award-winning city it is today."

The Downtown Specific Plan is a community-based plan, developed with extensive input by Lancaster residents, policy makers, business owners, property owners and other interested members of the community. The vision of the plan was realized through its successful implementation and re-opening of downtown Lancaster in 2010 under the new name; "The BLVD."

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