Showcase your best work in the Charter Awards
In 2001, when not yet ten years old, CNU established the Charter Awards to encourage and demonstrate exemplary new urbanist projects. Knowing how difficult it was to realize the Charter’s principles on the ground through actual, built projects, we cast a wide net to recognize innovations in planning and design, even if not yet constructed.
Today, nearly 20 years after our first call for submissions, New Urbanism is a widely accepted concept, and while significant barriers still exist to widespread adoption of the principles of the Charter, we face a new challenge: as the bar for recognition is set ever higher, we are called to redefine what constitutes excellence in New Urbanism.
In the past several years, the awards juries have noted that what was daring or innovative only a decade ago has come to be expected. The number of built projects and revised policies grows, advancing the Charter’s vision. Meanwhile, new problems beckon, in particular, how to apply the techniques and principles of the New Urbanism to the evolving realities of climate change, housing affordability, transportation needs, a public realm complicated by new technologies, and suburban sprawl continuing with race and income segregation.
To encourage response to these, in 2019 for the first time, the Awards will include the category of Emerging Projects—theoretical or research projects that may not be immediately realizable but hold exceptional promise. The jury will simultaneously consider built work and adopted plans that have withstood obstacles and challenges on their way to realization, and proposals that may be conceptual or theoretical.
The jury will continue to look to The Charter of the New Urbanism, signed more than 20 years ago, as the guide for excellence, seeking entries that illuminate the very real impact that the 27 Charter principles have on how people live and the health of their communities.
The Charter Awards last added a new category in 2004, to recognize excellence in student work. We have found this work to be consistently inspiring and imaginative, yielding thoughtful consideration and new directions while showing the next generation’s firm grasp of the core philosophy of New Urbanism: building places people love.
Two decades of Charter Awards illustrate to a global audience the values and principles that New Urbanists work to enact every day. I urge you to submit a project to the Charter Awards this year, and to encourage your network of firms and academic institutions to participate as well—to continue building the record of the success and excellence of our collective efforts.