Call for Rudy Bruner Award Entries: Seeking Innovative Urban Development

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) is seeking projects that offer creative and innovative solutions to challenges like these as part of its 2017 Call for Entries.

Submissions are due December 8, 2016 by midnight EST.

There’s no doubt we’re in the midst of an urban moment, with renewed interest and investment in cities across America. With this come a host of planning opportunities and challenges such as providing access to affordable housing, arts and culture, education and employment, fresh food and healthy outdoor spaces, valuable community services, and reliable infrastructure and transportation.

Founded in 1986, the RBA is a national design award that recognizes transformative urban places distinguished by their economic and social contributions to our nation’s cities. Five awards are made each biennial — one gold medal that receives $50,000 and four silver medals that each receives $10,000. Winners are documented with detailed case studies that are published in books and online on our new website and are a valuable resource for planning professionals, educators, and students.

RBA winners provide insight into 30 years of planning and development across America and illustrate a diversity of approaches to increasing equity through design, a critical issue for our time. Award winners range from large-scale developments like the inaugural gold medalist Pike Place Market in Seattle (1987) and Brooklyn Bridge Park (2011 silver medalist), to smaller yet equally influential projects like Project Row Houses in Houston (1997 silver medalist) and Inspiration Kitchens—Garfield Park in Chicago (2013 gold medalist).

The 2015 winners were no different, tackling big issues like such as the quality of urban education, homelessness and public health, supporting local agriculture and entrepreneurship, and regenerating communities. They include:

  • Miller’s Court (gold medalist), a supportive living and working environment for school teachers and education-related nonprofits in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Falls Park on the Reedy, the transformation of a forgotten waterfall and river valley into an urban oasis and centerpiece for the city in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Grand Rapids Downtown Market, a new public market and gathering space promoting local food, education, and entrepreneurship in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Quixote Village, a community of tiny houses developed for—and, in part by—people who were homeless in Olympia, Washington
  • Uptown District, a mixed-use corridor linking arts, education, and health care institutions and adjoining communities in Cleveland, Ohio

Miller’s Court, Quixote Village, and Uptown District were featured in the It’s Never Just about Housing session at the annual National Planning Conference in Phoenix. You can read more about the 2015 winners and selection process in Challenging Conventions: The 2015 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence.

The RBA is currently soliciting applications for the 2017 award. Are you involved in or know of an interesting project that would be a good candidate? Visit to learn more about the application process and to apply! Submissions are due December 8, 2016 by midnight EST.

November 1, 2016

By Anne-Marie Lubenau