The American Planning Association, Florida chapter, recently honored Realize Bradenton and the City of Bradenton with its Award of Excellence in the Best Practices Category for its "Creating Together: Youth Centered Planning for the Riverwalk East Master Plan."
In 2017, when the City of Bradenton announced the expansion of the Riverwalk, Realize Bradenton joined with park designers Kimley-Horn to put young people in key leadership roles during the park planning process. Funded by the Knight Donor-Advised Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation, the team assisted in gathering ideas and feedback about what the neighborhood thought was important in the park design. One of its outcomes was an event called "Park for a Day," in which the team built temporary versions of resident ideas with activities and outdoor focused on nature, music, history, and wellness. From this, Realize Bradenton published a toolkit based on the Project for Public Space’s principles of placemaking and a video with interviews of the team’s experiences.
The APA Florida Chapter “Best Practices” Award follows the 2019 "Future of the Region" Award for Economic Development from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.