Honoring Visionaries Who Inspire Great Places
The ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development was established to recognize an individual, or a person representing an institution, whose career demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of responsible development.
The $100,000 prize honors the legacy of legendary Kansas City, Missouri, developer Jesse Clyde Nichols (1880−1950), a founding ULI member who is widely regarded as one of America’s most influential entrepreneurs in land use during the first half of the 20th century.
J.C. Nichols Forum
The J.C. Nichols Forum is a one-and-a-half-day event exploring the opportunities and challenges in middle-tier cities and celebrating the legacy of J.C. Nichols, his body of work, and the ULI Nichols Prize program. Convened in Kansas City, Missouri, at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and hosted by the ULI Nichols Prize program on September 28 and 29, the forum brings together J.C. Nichols Prize laureates, mayors from around the country, and thought leaders from a range of disciplines.
2015 Nichols Laureate:
Lord Richard Rogers
Lord Richard Rogers has been chosen as the 2015 recipient of the Nichols Prize, the Institute’s highest honor, for his career-long focus on creating sustainable communities that thrive by providing a high quality of life for all citizens.
His emphasis on design that complements and enhances day-to-day living in urban areas is reflected in his 53 years of work as an architect and in his role as an urban design adviser to numerous public officials, including service as chairman of the British government’s Urban Task Force from 1998 to 2000. Throughout his career, Rogers has advocated for a more humanistic approach to community building, maintaining that the difference between success and failure hinges on how space is used, consideration of human elements in urban planning, and appealing, inclusive public places.
History of the Nichols Prize
The Nichols Prize, endowed by the family of J.C. Nichols, honors the legacy of the legendary Kansas City, Missouri, developer. A founding ULI member, J.C. Nichols is widely regarded as one of America’s most influential entrepreneurs in land use during the first half of the 1900s.
Nichols pioneered the development of sustainable, mass-market residential neighborhoods built for permanence, and automobile-oriented shopping centers. The Country Club District, a model residential community; Country Club Plaza, a 77-year-old shopping center and multiuse development; and numerous well-preserved suburban communities south of downtown Kansas City attest to his enduring legacy in that city.
Vincent Scully, 2003 Nichols Prize laureate, said of J.C. Nichols, “There is no one involved with the American city who does not owe J.C. Nichols a debt for his vision and method in the planning and development of residential communities. His example has helped this generation to take on that basic program intelligently once again.”