This year’s Long Island Smart Growth Awards will honor individuals and organizations advancing successful downtown, housing and infrastructure projects through bottom-up community planning.
The 22nd annual event hosted by Vision Long Island takes place Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. More than 700 of Long Island’s civic, small business, development, and government leaders are registered for the event, including over 60 elected officials, 25 chamber of commerce leaders and 20 civic leaders representing more than 40 downtowns across Long Island.
Fifteen individual and project leadership awards were selected for this year’s event, highlighting the efforts of leaders in government, the private sector, and the community that exemplify smart growth principles in affordable housing, transit-oriented development, pedestrian safety, improved bus service, wastewater treatment infrastructure, small business support, community and human services leadership.
Downtown, mixed-use and affordable housing project winners are from Hicksville, Glen Cove, Baldwin, Central Islip with planning awards for projects and policies in Southampton, Riverhead and Mineola. Transportation, walkability and pedestrian safety honors go to Suffolk County Transit, Westhampton Beach and Nassau County Police with AT&T/Firstnet.
Leadership awards include Kathy Wisnewski from National Grid for corporate philanthropy and volunteerism and emergency relief, Deputy Suffolk County Executive Peter Scully for his decades of supporting the region’s environment and advancing wastewater treatment, and longtime human services and community leaders Jean Kelly and Rob Kammerer from the INN for serving hundreds of thousands in need each year with food, shelter, workforce development and other human needs. Harry Malhotra and the New York South Asian Chamber of Commerce wins a Small Business Leadership award for his assistance and promotion of local businesses through the pandemic and beyond.
The awards program will feature remarks by longtime smart growth and downtown supporter Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and some town supervisors and village mayors.
More than 16,500 units of transit-oriented housing have been approved on Long Island over the last 17 years, according to Vision Long Island. The Smart Growth Awards will recognize the work that’s been done redeveloping the Island’s downtowns and the focus of building trust through local planning.
“We need to do everything possible to build up trust in decision making tied to land use and infrastructure investment in Long Island communities. That work is best proven through local planning that is the hallmark of this year’s honorees and past honorees over the last two decades,” Eric Alexander, director of Vision Long Island and founder of LI Main Street Alliance, said in a written statement. “These projects show, by example, how downtown redevelopment, affordable housing, traffic calming projects and critical infrastructure benefits communities particularly when local leaders were directly engaged in their planning.”
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