A playground inside Oklahoma City’s Myriad Botanical Gardens, one of two winners of the 2015 Urban Open Space Award.

The ULI Urban Open Space Award recognizes vibrant parks and open spaces that have been transformative in promoting healthy, sustainable, and equitable outcomes in their communities. Projects are evaluated on their design, programming, community benefits, partnerships and funding, and demonstration value. This year, five projects were selected as finalists from among the 49 submissions from five countries. The announcement of the winning project will be made at the 2018 ULI Fall Meeting in Boston, October 8–11, and will be covered in the online magazine, urbanland.uli.org. The winner will receive a prize of $10,000.

The jury for the award included Lynn S. Carlton, vice president and regional leader of planning at HOK; Antonio Fiol-Silva, founding principal of SITIO architecture + urbanism; Glenda E. Hood, cofounder of TriSect; Mehul J. Patel, chief operating officer of Midwood Investment & Development; Mitchell J. Silver, commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation; and F. Karl Zavitkovsky of Drever Capital Management. Stuart I. Ackerberg, chief executive officer of the Ackerberg Group, was the jury chair.

The finalists are:

Levy Park, Houston, Texas
Madrid Rio Park, Madrid, Spain
Baxi River Forest Island, Changsha, China
Quequechan River Rail Trail, Fall River, Massachusetts
Ricardo Lara Park, Lynwood, California

The first ULI Urban Open Space Award was given to St. Louis’s Citygarden in 2011, recognizing the project for the relationship it incorporated among art, landscape, imaginative seating, and water features, which had universal appeal and created a new focal point for downtown St. Louis.

This year, the award is being offered in conjunction with the 10-Minute Walk Campaign. In the spirit of the campaign, the award seeks to recognize projects at a variety of scales that have provided strong community benefits through diverse programming, intentionally engaged historically disadvantaged communities, and implemented strategies to promote economic inclusion. ULI is partnering with the National Recreation and Parks Association and the Trust for Public Land on the 10-Minute Walk Campaign, which is promoting the bold idea that everyone in an urban area should live within a ten-minute walk of a high-quality park. Learn more at www.uli.org/10minutewalk.