The American Planning Association today announced its national planning awards for 2012 — the “Oscars” of the planning profession — and gave Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley its National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Advocate. Of the total 14 awards presented by the APA, only 2 went to individuals, Governor O’Malley being one. Maryland Planning Secretary Richard Eberhart Hall hailed the recognition

The association noted that Governor O’Malley adapted for planning some of the statistical tools he had used as mayor of Baltimore to combat crime and other problems. In 2007, the governor created a rigorous accounting program called BayStat for state agencies to ensure progress toward restoring the Chesapeake Bay. His departments of planning, natural resources and agriculture developed web-based tools called AgPrint, GreenPrint and GrowthPrint to better identify areas for growth and preservation. A proponent of Transit-Oriented Development, he has championed two light rail projects in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas. His administration also recently created Maryland’s first statewide growth plan, PlanMaryland.

Congratulations, Maryland!