Win $50,000 for your urban design that improves a city’s society and economy

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) is a national urban design award that seeks to promote innovative thinking about the built environment and advance conversation about making cities better.

The award discovers and celebrates urban places that are distinguished by quality design along with their social and economic contributions to our nation’s cities.

One Gold Medal of $50,000 and four Silver Medals of $10,000 are awarded each biennial. Winners are selected by a committee comprising six urban experts, including a mayor. Each winner is documented with a detailed case study so that the ideas and lessons learned may be shared with others.


  • The project must be a real place, not just a plan or program.
  • Since site visits are integral to the award process, the project must have been in operation for a sufficient amount of time to demonstrate success.
  • The project must be located in the contiguous United States. It is not feasible to conduct site visits in Alaska or Hawaii.
  • There are no distinct categories. Projects may include any type of place that makes a positive contribution to the urban built environment.
  • Urban environment is broadly defined to include cities, towns, villages, neighborhoods, counties and/or regions.
  • Previous applicants and Honorable Mention winners may apply up to three times. Previous winners are not eligible.
  • Applicants from Greenville, SC are not eligible to submit this year. We look forward to receiving applications from Greenville in the future.


  • Submissions must be received at the Foundation no later than midnight EST on Thursday, December 8, 2016. Applications received after midnight on December 8, 2016 will not be considered.
  • Five finalists will be notified by Monday, February 6, 2017.
  • Site visits to finalists will take place February-May, 2017.
  • The Gold and Silver Medal Winners will be selected and notified in June 2017.
  • Presentations of the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence will be made in Fall 2017.

See full application information.

See previous award winners & photo credits.

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