The Dale Prize recognizes planning excellence, creates dialogue between scholars and practitioners, and enriches the education of
planning students. The 2014 Dale theme is We Are What We Eat: Food Systems and The Healthy City. This theme recognizes
that planners have become engaged in establishing “healthy city” policies and programs, involving many facets of how urban
residents relate to their food. Planners’ professional appetites have been whetted: researchers and practitioners want to know how
planning can help cities better accommodate the production of food (urban agriculture), facilitate food distribution (farmers markets,
food cooperatives), identify, map and address food deserts and other food security issues and reclaim energy and nutrients in food
waste. In evolving collaborative relationships, planners mix it up with public health professionals, community organizers, sanitary
engineers and diverse other partners to improve the food-related health of cities.
The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Cal Poly, Pomona, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 William R.
and June Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning. Ms. Heather Wooten of ChangeLab Solutions in Oakland,
California has won the Practitioner Prize and Dr. Samina Raja of the University of Buffalo has won the Scholar Prize.
Heather Wooten is a leader and advocate in urban food systems. She is a senior planner and program director
at ChangeLab Solutions in Oakland, California, where she researches best practices, develops tools, and works with
communities to connect land use, economic development and health. She is a co-author of one of the premier publications on
developing and implementing health policy language, How to Create and Implement Healthy General Plans. Prior to joining
ChangeLab Solutions, she co-authored the Oakland Food System Assessment: Towards a Sustainable Food Plan through the
Oakland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability; she also currently serves on the Oakland Food Policy Council. Ms. Wooten graduated
from the University of Minnesota and received her master’s degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley.
Dr. Samina Raja PhD is an internationally recognized leader and researcher on food systems. She is an Associate
Professor at the University at Buffalo, and is the author of A Planners Guide to Community and Regional Food Planning:
Transforming Food Environments, Facilitating Healthy Eating. Dr. Raja is the Principal Investigator of a $4 million USDA grant
project entitled Growing Food Connections: Building Sustainable Food Systems through Local Government Policy and
Planning. She established the Food Systems Planning and Health Communities Lab at the University at Buffalo and is a
community leader on food issues. Her commitment to planning applications is evidenced by her training activities on food with
the American Planning Association. She serves on numerous food advocacy and interest groups. Dr. Raja received her PhD
in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and holds a master’s degree in Housing Planning
and bachelor’s degree in Engineering.