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.
Excellence exists in every city. It can be found in downtowns, neighborhoods, and parks. The Rudy Bruner Award is a search for examples of this often overlooked excellence, and a celebration of their contribution to the richness and diversity of the urban experience. Often these places transcend the boundaries between architecture, urban design, and planning. They are born through processes of transformation -- the renewal of something old, or the creation of something new that resonates in the history of community life.
The Rudy Bruner Award considers form only one aspect of urban excellence. An excellent urban place involves the interplay of process, place and values. Processes may be inclusive, innovative, or participatory. Places may be grandiose or modest, new or historic, but must be well designed. Values guide the inevitable tradeoffs involved in bringing a project to life. The Award recognizes that these relationships are not simple. It seeks to illuminate the complex process of urban placemaking, so that it may be strengthened to better reflect the balance between form and use; opportunity and cost; preservation and change. The Gold Medal is a $50,000 award, and the Silver medals are $10,000 each.