The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) is a national design award that recognizes transformative urban places distinguished by their economic and social contributions to America’s cities. Founded in 1986 by architect Simeon Bruner, the award promotes innovative thinking about the built environment by celebrating and sharing the stories of creative and inspiring urban development.
One gold medal and four silver medals are awarded each biennial, with the gold medalist receiving a $50,000 cash prize and each silver medalist receiving $10,000. To be eligible, projects must be urban, built (not just a plan or a program) and in operation long enough to demonstrate impact, and located within the continental United States.
The RBA is intended to be a point of departure for the exploration of urban excellence and the role of design in cities and a resource for anyone interested in learning about urban development. It is distinguished by its extensive application and selection process and the detailed documentation of the winners.
The RBA is a program of the Bruner Foundation. The award is named in honor of Rudy Bruner, who established the foundation with his wife Martha in 1963 and had a life-long interest in architecture and cities (and published books by Frank Lloyd Wright under Horizon Press).
The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) was created to prompt a conversation about urban excellence in America and to illuminate the complex process of placemaking.
The research and the selection committee discussions are integrated into detailed case studies and a summary of lessons learned that are available to others interested in urban design and development.
Medalists reflect the diversity of urban excellence and yield fresh ideas and perspectives that challenge our assumptions and increase our understanding of how to make great urban places.