By Justin Criado
Jim Pashek, planner, registered landscape architect and CEO of Pashek Associates Ltd. in Historic Deutschtown won the 2015 award for Planning Leadership by a Professional Planner presented by the American Planning Association Pennsylvania.
The award recognizes outstanding, significant and sustained contributions to the profession through distinguished practice, and places Pashek among “the best and brightest in Pennsylvania Planning” in 2015, according to a press release.
During his 40-plus year career, Pashek has helped devise new methods of community planning, shared lessons learned and relentlessly championed grass-roots approaches as the most practical, useful and long-lasting.
His approach to community planning arises from his deep commitment to eliciting the views and ideas of members of the public, which he considers the foundation of civic life, according to the release.
In a letter supporting Pashek’s nomination, Kay Pierce, manager of the Planning Division, Allegheny County Economic Development, said she particularly values Jim’s ability to persuade municipalities to collaborate on multi-municipal plans, and his willingness to work with municipalities that have minimal resources, for which “the planner’s work often becomes more a labor of love than of profit.”
Pashek has also provided seminar training in the Czech Republic, at the national American Planning Association conference, and throughout Pennsylvania for the Local Government Academy and the State Association of Township Supervisors, as well as the APA-PA as a certified meeting facilitator, trained through the National Charrette Institute.
Recently, Pashek has teamed with other Pennsylvania planning professionals, including the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, to pioneer the “implementable comprehensive plan,” which strives to make community planning ever more practical, useful and action-oriented.
John K. Trant, Jr. , president of Strategic Solutions LLC, noted in a letter supporting Pashek’s nomination: “Planners often talk about avoiding the adoption of a plan that won’t be used, sitting stale and collecting dust on a municipal official’s bookshelf.
“But the reality is that this sad story comes to life time and again. Working with the PA DCED to foster the implementable plan, Jim is putting a real and powerful tool in planners’ hands to ensure that comprehensive plans are an integrated part of how communities in Pennsylvania operate, evolve and grow.”
Photo of Jim Pashek courtesy of Pashek Associates.