Celebrating its 30th year this year, the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) announced the five finalists for their 2017 gold and silver medal prizes on Feb. 8. The award recognizes built projects in American cities that have transformed their urban spaces into places that work for the local economy, the environment, and social vitality.
One gold medalist and four silver medalists are chosen every two years by a six-member committee that includes a mayor, a prior award winner, and other experts in the urban planning field. Starting next month, this year’s jury will visit each of the five project finalists and decide which will get the $50,000 prize that goes with winning the gold medal. The four runners up will get the silver medals and $10,000 each.
This year’s 2017 Rudy Bruner Award finalists are:
Iberville Offsite Rehabs I & II by Kronberg Wall Architects
La Kretz Innovation Campus + Arts District Park by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
The RBA was created in 1986 by Simeon Bruner, founding principal of Cambridge, Mass.–based Bruner/Cott Architects & Planners, and named after his late father, who had previously established the Bruner Foundation with Simeon's mother in 1963. The foundation, similar to the award, “promotes innovative thinking about complex social issues and fosters meaningful change,” according to its website.
Since the establishment of the award, 78 projects in 27 states have been honored, including Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Houston’s Project Row Houses, and New York’s Brooklyn Bridge Park. “After three decades, we’re still discovering and recognizing new ways that public and private ingenuity and design can make our cities more accessible, inclusive, and beautiful for everyone," Simeon Bruner said in a press release.
The six-member selection for this year's RBA committee is comprised of Greenville, S.C., Mayor Knox White; Detroit director of strategic planning Kimberly Driggins; Stull and Lee president David Lee, FAIA; CMG Landscape Architecture principal Willett Moss; CommonBond Communites chief executive officer Deidre Schmidt; Annie E. Casey Foundation associate director Scot Spencer.