11/13/13 – Architects Honor West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority Executive Director

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2013) — The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida)selected Raphael Clemente, executive director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA), as the AIA Florida Recipient of the 2013 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award. The award is given to a non-architect who has advanced the cause of good design and planning, and contributed to the dignity and value of the architectural profession.


Clemente has been leading the improvement and renewal of the Downtown District since 2006. A self-described “urbanist,” Clemente is a forceful advocate for the community and works hand in hand with stakeholders to address wide ranging issues affecting the Downtown. As a lifelong resident of the area, he combines local knowledge with more than a decade of experience in urban planning, community development and project management to move Downtown West Palm Beach toward the DDA’s long-term goals: economic strength, vibrancy, sustainability and improved quality of life for residents and visitors alike.


“Through his focused efforts to advance collaborative visions for policies and projects, he has ‘pushed the envelope’ to advance the district and create a vibrant, successful Downtown. This award is well-deserved and confirmation of the outstanding results DDA has achieved,” said Howard Pincus, DDA board chairman.

AIA Palm Beach is one of a number of organizations to recognize Clemente’s dedicated efforts and effectiveness in putting a revitalized Downtown West Palm Beach on the map. Smart Growth America named Clematis Street as “Street of the Week” for its variety of local businesses, beautiful waterfront and public plaza, as well as its dining, shopping and entertainment options. In addition, Downtown West Palm Beach was voted the “#1 Hot Spot” for Entrepreneurs in by Harvard University Economics Professors Edward L. Glaeser & William R. Kerr. It also was recognized by the Miami Herald with a “Best Block Award.”

“It’s an honor to be selected for this prestigious award,” said Clemente. “This is a team effort, and our team being recognized again for building a world-class Downtown is great news.”

The 2013 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award will be presented to Clemente at the AIA Florida Annual Conference held in Lake Worth at the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom on Nov. 15. For more information, please call 561-832-8223 or visit www.aiapalmbeach.org.

For more information about Downtown West Palm Beach, contact the DDA at (561) 833-8873 or visit www.wpbgo.com or www.westpalmbeachdda.com.



About the Downtown Development Authority
The West Palm Beach DDA is an independent taxing district created in 1967 by a special act of the Florida Legislature. Its mission is to promote and enhance a safe, vibrant Downtown for our residents, businesses and visitors through the strategic development of economic, social and cultural opportunities.