Charter Award 2006 Winners Set High Mark

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CNU Announces 2006 Charter Award Honorees: Seventeen Projects Set High Mark for Urban Design and Development

Chicago – April 4, 2005 – After reviewing more than 160 submission for how well they embody and advance the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism, a jury of accomplished urbanists has selected 17 projects for New Urbanism’s highest honor, recognition as Charter Award winners.

The 17 projects are diverse both in location and type –- hailing from three continents and taking forms such as affordable housing, transit-oriented development, high-density infill plans, wilderness preservation, freeway-taming strategies, and new town development. In architectural expression, they range from Carolina low-country vernacular to contextual modernism. Yet despite these differences, the projects share a common commitment to first-rate placemaking and the community-strengthening principles of the Charter.

In a year when new urbanist charrettes and follow-up efforts are bringing hope for renewal to Gulf Coast areas destroyed by hurricanes, this year’s Charter Awards honorees use design excellence and the principles of the Charter to improve other challenging contexts, including:

• The threatened farmland outside Paris, where an elegantly designed, compact new town on the TGV line is helping the French government implement a managed growth strategy (Cooper Robertson and Partners).
• An economically declining small town on Virginia’s Eastern Shore where new low-cost homes on an extension of the town fabric shelter 52 households and a community farm creates new economic opportunities (Cox, RBGC Architecture, Research and Urbanism).
• The sprawling 8000+ acres of the US Army's Fort Belvoir, where twelve walkable urban villages are reinventing military housing at the base and creating a new spirit of community for military families (Torti Gallas and Partners).
• Vancouver’s high-intensity downtown, where towers have proliferated as street life has grown more lively and humane under the guidance of a central area plan featuring a “Living First” strategy (City of Vancouver).
• The outskirts of Cabinda, Angola where a town plan replaces haphazard growth with a livable town while preserving coveted forests (Gary White and Associates).
• Formerly abandoned, graffiti-strewn space in downtown Columbus, OH, now reconnected to the city by a modern-day Ponte Vecchio, a retail bridge crossing I-670 (Meleca Architecture).
• Fourteen acres near the heart of Tucson where culturally and environmentally sensitive infill development is knitting the downtown together again after ill-fated urban renewal efforts swept away previous generations of urban fabric (Moule Polyzoides, Architects and Urbanists).
• The automobile-oriented core of the model suburban community of Columbia, MD, which will finally become the vibrant town center town founders had hoped for thanks to a master plan calling for higher densities, small urban blocks, and public spaces (Design Collective).
• The downtown and jewelry district of Providence, RI, now severed by an interstate freeway, but soon to be joined under a plan that re-routes the freeway, reconnects urban fabric, and promotes infill development that strengthens the city’s relationship to its waterfront (Sasaki Associates).

Other honored projects include Boston’s Newest Smart Growth Corridor (Goody, Clancy and Associates), Crewkerne-Easthams Architectural and Design Code (Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment), Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza Revitalization (Torti Gallas and Partners), Historic Front Street (Cook + Fox Architects), the Village at Palmetto Bluff (Historical Concepts),Mission Meridian (Moule Polyzoides, Architects and Urbanists), and Arnhem City Center (Robert A.M. Stern Architects). An award in the student/faculty category went to the University of Maryland for Hatchett Point in Old Lyme, Conn. and an honorable mention went to the University of Miami for its hurricane-relief housing submission, Mississippi Mobile Homes. Learn more about this year’s winners.

On behalf of CNU and its board of directors, CNU President John Norquist congratulated all 2006 honorees for their impressive achievements. “Many, many project teams set out to create projects that live up to the principles of the Charter, but very few actually achieve that standard,” said Norquist. “The Charter stands as both a tough challenge and a potentially valuable promise. For those who commit to excellence and achieve it, the benefits are enduring places and stronger communities.”

The winners are awarded in three categories reflecting the three scales of the Charter of the New Urbanism. They will receive their awards at a lunchtime ceremony in Providence, RI on Friday, June 2 during Fourteenth Congress for the New Urbanism, which runs from June 1-4.

The 2006 Charter Awards Jury is:
Dhiru Thadani, Jury Chair, Principal, Ayers/Saint/Gross, Architects + Urban Planners
Peter Calthorpe, Principal, Calthorpe Associates
Rick Chellman, Principal, TND Engineering
Peter Hetzel, Principal, Peter Hetzel Architecture + Urbanism
Linda Keane, AIA, Architect and Urban Planner, STUDIO 1032, and Faculty, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Léon Krier, Architect and Urban Planner
Barbara Littenberg, Partner, Peterson/Littenberg Architecture and Urban Design
Susan Parham, Chair, Council for European Urbanism, and Director, CAG Consultants
Carroll William Westfall, Frank Montana Professor, University of Notre Dame
Todd Zimmerman, Co-Managing Director, Zimmerman/Volk Associates, Inc.

CNU is the leading organization advancing walkable, human-scaled neighborhood development as the building block of well-defined cities and towns.The Charter Awards program is CNU’s main vehicle for recognizing work that best embodies and advances the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism, defines the essential principles of New Urbanism and the qualities of coherent places from the scale of the region to the block and building.

See images and descriptions of this year's award winners.

For more information, contact Stephen Filmanowicz, CNU Communications Director, 312-551-7300.