WASHINGTON - The American Architectural Foundation (AAF) is scheduled to present its 2009 Keystone Award today (Feb. 6) to U.S. Conference of Mayors President Miami Mayor Manuel A. Diaz at the 20th Annual Accent on Architecture Gala in Washington, D.C.

AAF presents the Keystone Award annually to an organization or individual outside of the architectural profession for their leadership in demonstrating the power of architecture and design to improve lives and transform communities.

Three years ago, Mayor Diaz launched Miami 21, a comprehensive master plan for Miami based on new urbanism and smart growth principles, which includes economic development, park and public places, transportation, historic preservation, and arts and culture.

AAF is also honoring Mayor Diaz for his vision for Miami that is guided by an understanding of, and commitment to, sustainable design. He created the city's first Office of Sustainable Initiatives which coordinates Miami's environmental programs, retrofitted City Hall, which now sports solar panels, and launched the city's first Citywide Tree Master Plan, which aims at enhancing and restoring the city's tree canopy.

“Mayor Diaz has been a leader in design and smart growth on the national level, as well as in Miami,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “His achievements in design leadership have enriched the quality of life for the residents of Miami and transformed his community into being recognized as one of the best cities in the world.”

Mayor Diaz is a member of the National Advisory Council of the Mayors' Institute on City Design, a partnership program of the National Endowment for the Arts, American Architectural Foundation, and The U.S. Conference of Mayors.

This year's event will feature the presentation of the AAF Keystone Award, as well as the AIA Gold Medal, AIA twenty-five Year Award, and AIA Architecture Firm Award. Approximately 1,000 guests will attend the black-tie gala at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.