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. A program of the Bruner Foundation, 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.
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. Since 1987 the RBA has recognized and documented 83 projects in 27 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. Each winner is documented with a detailed case study that chronicles the development process—including design, financing and operations—and its impact in the community, along with a distillation of the selection committee’s discussions and lessons learned about urban excellence.