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The City of Edmonton and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) believe it is important to promote public and private awareness of the role of urban design.

Every two years, since 2005, the City and the RAIC have co-hosted the Edmonton Urban Design Awards to recognize individuals, organizations, firms and projects that have contributed to urban design and the quality of life in Edmonton.

Winners of the 2017 Urban Design Awards

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Our jury was in Edmonton on September 25 and 26, 2017, and it was a very full two days. They painstakingly deliberated over each entry, conducted site visits, and even gave a public talk!

The winners in each category have been determined, and our advisory committee is busy preparing for the Awards Gala on November 3, 2017. All award winners, including the People's Choice award, will be announced at this ceremony. Project entrants will receive a formal invitation.

Award Categories

Civic Design Projects

This category is for civic improvement projects such as a park, a publicly accessible space, civil engineering or environmental infrastructure.

Eligibility

A construction project completed or installed after January 1, 2015 within the municipal boundaries of the City of Edmonton, and designed by an architect, landscape architect, and/or an engineer.

Criteria

The primary criteria for assessing the merit of the plan will be:

  • Compatibility with the urban plan
  • Positive contribution to the public realm
  • Design excellence
  • Demonstration of the value of urban design by showing how the urban design plan/initiative directed and influenced the space or the objects
Community Projects

This category is for any built project, however modest, initiated and implemented by a community-based organization that enhances the public realm. Streetscape, public art, special installations, environmental initiatives, a banner program are examples of this category of submissions.

Eligibility

The improvement must have been completed after January 1, 2015.

Criteria

The primary criteria for assessing the merit of the plan will be:

  • Wide community involvement - demonstration of how the community-at-large was involved and supported the improvements
  • Positive contribution to the public realm
  • Conceptual clarity and execution of the improvement
  • Innovation and uniqueness of the built project
Heritage Projects

This category is for projects that demonstrate sensitivity and creativity in preserving the heritage values of a site where the historic rehabilitation of a historic building and/or the new development reinforces and enhances the character of the resource and /or streetscape. The project should contribute to the sense of place, revitalization or viability of the complex or district while demonstrating excellence in the conservation of heritage values.

Eligibility

The project must have been completed after January 1, 2015 within the municipal boundaries of the City of Edmonton.

Criteria

The primary criteria for assessing the merit of the project will be:

  • Heritage status and value to the community
  • Quality and scope of the heritage rehabilitation
  • Adaptive reuse of the original resource
  • Architectural sensitivity and excellence
  • Demonstration of the value of urban design by showing how the project contributes/integrates to the public realm
  • It is preferable, but not essential, that projects have heritage status, on the City’s or Province’s Inventory or Register or part of a designated heritage district
Implemented Urban Design Plans

This category is for an urban design plan or study that has already been approved or adopted by the City of Edmonton and physical changes have already started to occur.

Eligibility

The plan, project, or study must have been approved after January 1, 2015 and there should be concrete examples of changes in the built environment.

Criteria

The primary criteria for assessing the merit of the plan will be:

  • Evidence of success: Examples of quality improvements to the built environment
  • Creative resolution: Proposed solutions that successfully addresses multiple objectives and competing interests
  • Acceptance of the plan by the community: Evidence that the community supports the plan and its implementation
Student Projects

This category is open to students in urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, fine arts, design and urban planning programs at a post-secondary level. Student projects must have been completed with direction or oversight from a faculty member. The submission will be an urban design project pertaining to Edmonton and located within its municipal boundaries.

Eligibility

The project must have been completed after September 1, 2013. Only students enrolled in Undergraduate or Graduate courses will be eligible to progress to the National Urban Design Awards.

Criteria

The primary criteria for assessing the merit of the entry will be:

  • Comprehensiveness — addressing a wide a range of factors affecting development, and providing solutions to the stated problem
  • Conceptual clarity and urban design excellence — as demonstrated in the illustrations showing physical improvements
  • Clarity of presentation — understandable, readable and well illustrated graphically

The entry fee does not apply to student projects.

Urban Architecture

This category is for a building or group of buildings that contribute to, and support, an urban design initiative. It will be an individual building or group of buildings, of high architectural standard, which achieves urban design excellence through its unique relationship with its immediate surroundings because of its site, massing, and pedestrian amenities. The building will also contribute to defining a special relationship with the neighbouring urban fabric.

Eligibility

A new building, a renovated building, or complex of buildings completed or installed after January 1, 1999 within the municipal boundaries of the City of Edmonton. Winning entries designed by an architect will be elligible for consideration at the national Urban Design Awards. 

Criteria

The primary criteria for assessing the merit of the plan will be:

  • Compatibility with the urban initiative
  • Positive contribution to the public realm
  • Architectural excellence
  • Demonstration of the value of urban design by showing how the urban design plan directed and influenced the building
Urban Fragments

Urban fragments are single, small-scale pieces of a building or landscape that contribute significantly to the quality of the public realm. This category includes small and modest elements such as street furniture, lighting elements, interpretation media, memorials, public art, facade improvement or other forms of intervention that contribute to the beautification, sustainability, enjoyment, and/or appreciation of the urban environment. Projects can be of a temporary (but not ephemeral) or permanent nature.

Eligibility

The project must have been completed after January 1, 2015, within the municipal boundaries of the City of Edmonton.

Criteria

The primary criteria for assessing the proposals will be:

  • Positive contribution to the public realm
  • Design excellence
  • Innovation and uniqueness of the element

Jury Members

Matthew Blackett

Blackett is the publisher, creative director and one of the founders of Spacing magazine.

Harold Madi

Madi leads Stantec’s Urban Places Group and is an award-winning urban designer and planner with over 20-years of professional experience.

Lola Sheppard

Sheppard is a Registered Architect and founding Partner at Lateral Office.

Gary Sorge

Sorge is a Vice President and Discipline Leader for Planning and Landscape Architecture for the global design firm, Stantec.

Jason Thorne

Thorne is the General Manager of Planning and Economic Development at the City of Hamilton.

Read full Jury Bios

Past Winners

The awards were presented on November 9, 2015.

The awards were presented on November 22, 2013.
The awards were presented on November 10, 2011.
The awards were presented on November 18, 2009.

For More Information

Email urbandesign@edmonton.ca

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