ULI Announces Five Finalists in Urban Open Space Award Competition

Projects in D.C., Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, and Vancouver on Short List for $10,000 Award

For more information, contact: Robert Krueger 202/624-7051; email:  rkrueger@uli.org

WASHINGTON  (June 4, 2013) – Five projects have been selected as finalists for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Urban Open Space Award, a competition that recognizes outstanding examples of transformative and vibrant public open space – large and small –  that have spurred economic and social regeneration of their adjacent communities.

This year’s finalists are the Yards Park in Washington, D.C.; Wilmington Waterfront Park in Wilmington, Calif.; Cumberland Park in Nashville, Tenn.; Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York, N.Y.; and The Parks and Waterfront at Southeast False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia. The winning project will be announced at the ULI Fall Meeting, set for November 5 – 8, 2013 in Chicago. A $10,000 cash prize will be awarded to the individual or organization most responsible for the creation of the winning open space project.

The five finalists were selected from an impressive collection of entries, representing urban areas throughout North America.   Since the program is not meant to be a landscape architecture or urban design competition, the jury selected finalists based on overall project design and how each impacted or revived their surrounding areas.

“Submissions for the 2013 ULI Open Space Award reflected the impressive creativity that is blossoming across North America as cities provide outdoor opportunities for relaxation, an amazingly broad range of physical activities, and a sense of community for citizens and visitors of all ages,” said jury chairman M. Leanne Lachman, president of real estate consulting firm Lachman Associates LLC in New York, N.Y.  “Each finalist park draws folks in and encourages them to stay and actively participate, enlivening their neighborhoods and tightening the fabric of their cities.  Passive and active recreation are delightfully alive and well in our urban areas, as evidenced by ULI’s five award finalists.”

The descriptions of the finalists, with the project’s owner and designer in parentheses:

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, N.Y. (Project Owner: Brooklyn Bridge Park; Designer: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.)1.3 miles of Brooklyn’s waterfront are being revitalized with an array of open spaces that return the area to public use, reconnect with adjacent neighborhoods, and generate a sustainable and self-financed multi-use civic space.
  • Cumberland Park, Nashville, Tenn. (Project Owner: Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation Department; Lead Design Consultant: Hargreaves Associates)Part of a phased master plan to draw residents and visitors back to the river and downtown, the space is committed to both new generations and to sustainability through brownfield remediation, floodplain preservation, and interpretation of cultural and natural resources.
  • The Parks and Waterfront at Southeast False Creek, Vancouver, British Columbia (Project Owner: City of Vancouver Designer: PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc.)Located on a previously industrialized waterfront area the project exemplifies a new green infrastructure based approach to public realm through the introduction of restored natural environments into a highly urban community.
  • The Yards Park, Washington D.C. (Project Owner: District of Columbia; Designer: M. Paul Friedberg & Partners; Developer: Forest City) – A regeneration that brings local communities and visitors to the Anacostia River, while providing a transformative and vibrant public space that aims to generate social, economic, and ecological value under an innovative public-private funding model.
  • Wilmington Waterfront Park, Wilmington, Calif. (Project Owner: Port of Los Angeles; Designer: Sasaki Associates, Inc.)The space creates a new public realm that mediates the relationship between the residential neighborhood of Wilmington and the intensely active Port of Los Angeles. Mitigating the industrial impact of the port, it provides a safe and accessible space that celebrates the vibrant community culture within a previously underserved neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The award was created through the generosity of Amanda M. Burden, New York City Planning Commissioner and 2009 laureate of the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development.  In 2011 the Kresge Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and the ULI Foundation joined forces to continue the Urban Open Space Award through 2014.

To be eligible for the competition, an open space project must:  have been opened to the public for at least one year and no more than fifteen years; be predominately outdoors and inviting to the public; provide abundant and varied seating, sun and shade, trees and plantings with attractions; be used intensively on a daily basis by a broad spectrum of users throughout the year; have a positive economic impact on its surroundings; promote physical, social, and economic health of the larger community; and provide lessons, strategies, and techniques that can be used or adapted in other communities.

In addition to jury chairman Lachman, other 2013 competition jury members are:   Glenn Aaronson, managing partner, Aevitas Property Partners; chairman, Forum Turkey Fund, Amsterdam, Netherlands; William Bonstra, partner, Bonstra Haresign Architects, Washington, D.C.; Michael Covarrubias, chairman and chief executive officer, TMG Partners, San Francisco, Calif.; David Dixon, principal, Goody Clancy, Boston, Mass.; Dr. Sujata S. Govada, managing director, UDP International, Hyderabad, India; Jason Hellendrung, principal, Sasaki Associates, Watertown, Mass.; Mark Johnson, president, Civitas, Inc., Denver, Colo.; Jeff Kingsbury, managing principal, Greenstreet Ltd., Indianapolis, Ind.; Jeff Mayer, director of international planning, Bassenian Lagoni, Newport Beach, Calif.; Jacinta McCann, executive vice president, AECOM, San Francisco, Calif.; and Trini M. Rodriguez, principal, Parker Rodriguez, Inc., Alexandria, Va.

NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS: Photos of the 2013 Urban Open Space Award finalists are available for download. For more details on the award and previous winners, visit the Urban Open Space Award competition page.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

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