The water feature at Cincinnati’s Washington Park dances to lights and music at night. (J. MILES WOLF)

The water feature at Cincinnati’s Washington Park dances to lights and music at night. (J. MILES WOLF)

Five finalists have been announced for this year’s ULI Urban Open Space Award, an annual competition that recognizes outstanding examples of successful large- and small-scale public spaces that have socially enriched and revitalized the economy of their communities.


“This year’s submissions reflect innovative ways that North American cities are financing and developing public destinations that create recreational experiences for residents, spur economic activity on adjacent sites, and often preserve historical and cultural heritage as well,” said jury chair M. Leanne Lachman, president of real estate consulting firm Lachman Associates in New York City. “Perhaps more importantly, the design and popularity of these urban open-space projects signal the industry’s shift to building successful healthy places and helping encourage physical behavior through design.”

The award was created through the generosity of Amanda M. Burden, former New York City planning commissioner and 2009 recipient of the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. In 2011, the Kresge Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and the ULI Foundation joined forces to continue the Urban Open Space Award.

In addition to Lachman, jury members are: Glenn Aaronson, managing partner, Aevitas Property Partners and chairman of Forum Turkey Fund, Amsterdam, Netherlands; William Bonstra, partner, Bonstra Haresign Architects, Washington, D.C.; Terrall Budge, principal of Loci, Salt Lake City; Michael Covarrubias, chairman and chief executive officer, TMG Partners, San Francisco; David Dixon, urban design leader, Stantec Consulting, Boston; Sujata S. Govada, managing director, UDP International, Hyderabad, India; Jason Hellendrung, principal, Sasaki Associates, Watertown, Massachusetts; Jeff Kingsbury, managing principal, Greenstreet Ltd., Indianapolis; Jacinta McCann, executive vice president, AECOM, San Francisco; Steve Navarro, executive vice president, CBRE, and chief executive officer, the Furman Company, Greenville, South Carolina; and Trini M. Rodriguez, principal, Parker Rodriguez, Alexandria, Virginia.

The winning project is scheduled to be announced at the ULI Fall Meeting, set for October 21–23 in New York City. A $10,000 prize will be awarded to the individual or organization most responsible for the creation and upkeep of the winning project.