Idaho Smart Growth has presented the annual Grow Smart Awards since 2005 to celebrate planning and development efforts around Idaho that exhibit outstanding implementation of smart growth principles.


We encourage nominations of all types and sizes, from any year and throughout the state. Anyone can submit a nomination and can submit more than one. Nominations can be for buildings, plans, open spaces, studies, organizations and any other example of smart growth in action. Strongest applications will be able to show their smart growth success.

  • Nominations shall illustrate at least five smart growth principles, except in unique circumstances.
  • Projects must be complete at time of nomination and established enough to show success.
  • Plans must be fully adopted by all relevant agencies at time of nomination.
  • Projects that are part of a larger plan should apply after at least 50% of that plan is complete.
  • Submissions accepted year-round but must be received by 11:59pm MDT the first Monday in May to be considered for a November award in the same year.

We strongly urge anyone considering submitting a nomination to contact Idaho Smart Growth staff for guidance on their application. We can answer questions about eligibility, smart growth principles and how to present information that will help the jury understand the nomination in its context. Call us at 208.333.8066 or email


Applications may be submitted online or emailed. If you prefer to submit via email, please review the paper application form (linked here). There is no “save and return later” option for the online application, so we encourage you to review the required items before starting the online application:

  • Project/Plan Contacts and Permission to Nominate
  • Project Description (narrative – max of 8000 characters)
    • Describe how this nomination fulfills smart growth principles and why it should be considered for an award. How does the nomination further smart growth in the community and support other community smart growth planning efforts? What smart growth vision and goals was this nomination striving for? Share any barriers or challenges this nomination had to overcome in order to achieve that vision.
  • Supporting Document – could include:
    • Letter(s) of support
    • Project site plan (if applicable)
    • Site vicinity map (if applicable)
    • Photographs, drawings, area/community planning documents or any other information that will assist the jury in understanding and evaluating the nomination.
  • $100 Application fee (CC payment required for online applications)

Awards are selected by a jury of professionals knowledgeable about smart growth principles. The jury considers one nomination at a time, judging how well it exemplifies smart growth in the context of its community and its place and time. Jury members abstain from voting on nominations in which they have a personal, professional or financial interest. Nominations that have proven themselves over time can be some of the strongest.


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