The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) is a national design award that recognizes transformative urban places that contribute to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of American cities. Founded in 1986 by architect Simeon Bruner, the award promotes innovative thinking about the built environment and to advance conversation about making cities better by celebrating and sharing the stories of creative and inspiring urban development.

Rudy Bruner Award winners highlight the diversity of innovation in our cities today. They show us urban excellence at all scales and inspire us with their optimism.

Simeon Bruner | Founder

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 contiguous United States.

The RBA provides 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.

Since 1987 the RBA has recognized and documented 88 projects from across the contiguous United States that illustrate a remarkable diversity of approaches to urban development. Each cycle of the biennial award uncovers new projects that reveal innovative tactics as well as affirm recurring themes, as outlined in the “Creating Excellent Urban Places: Learning from the Rudy Bruner Award.

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 biennial award cycle is on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sign up for the RBA newsletter below to receive updates.