Pasted below are the comments Anthea Giannotes made after receiving the prestigious Ken Groves Award on behalf of Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, at the opening plenary session at CNU21 last week. The Groves Award is given to courageous public officials by CNU and the Center for Advanced Transect Studies.
After Anthea spoke, John Norquist leaned over to me and said, “That was a GREAT speech.”
Congratulations again to TCRPC.
Victor Dover FAICP LEED-AP CNUa
Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning
“On behalf of Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, thank you. We are especially honored to receive this award named for Ken Groves, who was a visionary planning director.
When it became clear that I would be the representative here tonight, I talked to different members of our team and asked them their thoughts on Treasure Coast receiving this recognition and I received comments with 3 distinctly different perspectives.
First, for those of you who don’t know us, we are a public agency in Florida, where sprawling development patterns were the norm for decades. Compounding the damage of our countryside and ag lands being converted to sprawl, revitalization efforts in urban areas were initially hampered because these terrible land development instructions that had perfected sprawl were being applied over time to urban centers – with no understanding of the detrimental effects suburban practices would have in downtowns and cities. It takes people like Ken Groves to not only recognize what was wrong in our cities but also that they were worth saving at all. Transect based codes are critical tools for restoring city building practices and I am happy to say that they are being implemented all over our region.
The second perspective was that of the role of the public sector. In this era, where government is frequently vilified it’s important to recognize that Public sector leaders like Ken Groves have the ability to help a community define the vision for its future and then foster private sector investment and development to realize it. And by the way realizing the vision won’t happen by removing all oversight, it does happen when the right people are in place to focus on the truly important issues facing each unique community. We have witnessed first-hand successes in our region in cities like West Palm Beach and Delray Beach that have been accomplished by having knowledgeable and talented people in place to help guide decisions on a daily basis.
The final thought was simply that our organization is able to receive this honor because of the leadership of Dan Cary initially and now by Michael Busha, who are both passionate about city building and have had the benefit of working alongside the brightest minds in New Urbansim for the past 25 years. Mike was reminiscing about how in 1986, he and Dan cold-called Andres Duany after reading an article in the Miami herald’s Tropic magazine about this up and coming architecture firm with new ideas about designing and building neighborhoods again. Charged with reviewing large scale development, the RPC’s focus at the time was mainly on protecting and preserving natural systems yet despite their best efforts, the outcomes were never quite the great places they hoped for – and it was this initial contact with Liz and Andres that began a collaboration on planning, design, and coding of the human habitat in Florida that has gone on to include contributions from many others including
The roster of talented people from DPZ
- Joe and Victor and their team at Dover Kohl & Partners
- Ramon Trias
- Jaime Correa
- Erik & Estella Valle
- Mark Schimmenti
- Bill Spikowski
- Seth Harry
- Bob Gibbs
- Steven Fett
- Rick Hall
and the influence of the University of Miami and the many graduates that have contributed over the years.
So, it’s important to recognize that this year, this award doesn’t go to an individual but to a full movement of people who have believed in this public agency’s role in revitalizing cities and neighborhoods and have left their mark in the body of work.
We are truly honored and we share this with all of you. Thank you!”
– Anthea Giannotes