The five winners have changed the rules of standard practice and elevated issues that matter, addressing ongoing and long-term challenges faced by cities across America.

Changing the Narrative: The 2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence includes detailed case studies and lessons learned about the winning projects including:

  • Crosstown Concourse in Memphis, TN
    Rehabilitation of an abandoned Sears, Roebuck & Co. distribution center into a mixed-use vertical village and arts, education, and healthcare destination.
  • Beyond Walls— Lynn, MA
    Grassroots public art and lighting initiative revitalizing a former industrial city.
  • Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston, TX
    Enhancement of a historic waterway into a resilient public greenspace.
  • Parisite Skatepark in New Orleans, LA
    Youth-driven DIY creation of a new public park on vacant land beneath a highway overpass.
  • Sulphur Springs Downtown in Sulphur Springs, TX
    Renewal of a rural, small-town civic plaza and main street.

Lessons Learned themes include:

  • Changing Attitudes, Expectations, and Perceptions About People and Places
  • Innovation Is Happening in Unexpected Places
  • Turning Deficits into Assets
  • Practical, Replicable Design Approaches
  • Addressing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Unintended Consequences of Success
  • Who’s Driving Vision and Investment?