Submit: Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

The call for entries for the 2013 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, which celebrates highly sustainable urban places of high design quality, is now open.

The foundation explains why they value these urban places so much: “American cities embody our nation’s greatest triumphs and most daunting challenges. At their best they showcase the rich diversity, cultural achievement, and democratic values that characterize the American spirit. At their worst they reflect our country’s most persistent social ills — economic disparity, hopelessness, neglect and abandonment. Yet there are those places that are developed with such vision and imagination that they transform urban problems into creative solutions. The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) seeks to discover those special places, to celebrate and publicize their achievement.”

In 2011, the gold medal went to the Bridge Homeless Assistance Center in Dallas, Texas, a LEED-certified healthcare and emergency service complex with a green roof, which was designed by architecture firms Overland Partners and Carmago-Copeland. Silver medals went to Brooklyn Bridge Park by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates;  Santa Fe Railyard Park by Ken Smith Landscape Architects; Civic Space Park in Phoenix by AECOM, Ten Ecyk Landscape Architects, and Janet Echelman; and the Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago by Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects.

The projects must be real – not a plan or program – and located in the 48 contiguous United States.

The gold medal recipient gets $50,000, while four silver medals get $10,000 each.  The foundation says prize money can be used in any way that benefits the project.

Apply by December 10, 2012.

In other news, President Obama appointed Elizabeth Meyer, FASLA, professor of landscape architecture at the University of Virginia (UVA), to the U.S. Fine Arts Commission. While there are multiple architects, planners, and urban designers on the panel, Meyer is the sole landscape architect. In a UVA statement, Meyer said: “From an urban design and landscape architecture perspective, Washington, D.C. is an amazing city. Landscape is an important part of the structure of the city and it is a quintessential American city. It will be an interesting experience to have an impact on what happens there in the realm of design and planning.”

Created by Congress in 1910, the commission “is charged with giving expert advice to the President, Congress and the heads of departments and agencies of the Federal and District of Columbia governments on matters of design and aesthetics, as they affect the Federal interest and preserve the dignity of the nation’s capital.” The commission also oversees all national memorials in the U.S. and abroad. In this past commission, Diana Balmori, ASLA, was the only landscape designer.

Image credit:  Rudy Bruner Foundation

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