The 1989 winners offer stories about stories about places and policy, tales about government and communities.

Breakthroughs: the 1989 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence includes detailed case studies and lessons learned about the winning projects including:

  • Tenant Interim Lease Program in New York City, New York
    An innovative grassroots initiative that helps renters gain cooperative home ownership
  • Portland Downtown Plan in Portland, Oregon
    A collective, citizen-driven revitalization plan that created a vibrant downtown center
  • Southwest Corridor Project in Boston, Massachusetts
    Public transit expansion and new greenway connecting neighborhoods with downtown
  • Radial Reuse Project in Lincoln, Nebraska
    A linear park system connecting and revitalizing neighborhoods
  • Cabrillo Village in Santicoy, California
    A sustainable, affordable, worker-owned housing cooperative
  • Stowe Recreation Path in Stowe, Vermont
    The grassroots creation of a five-mile recreational community greenway

Lessons Learned themes include:

  • The critical shortcomings of traditional government
  • The power of decentralization
  • A new role for government
  • The unsung role and power of the invisible bureaucrats
  • The beauty of citizen participation and inclusion
  • Human empowerment is both a vehicle and a goal
  • Individual people with ideas and visions are indispensable—but not always enough
  • Design is not the only thing, but can be everything (or how, for lack of a screw the war was lost)