Urban Open Space Award

The High Line, New York. UOSA Finalist 2012

“Each finalist encourages communities to stay and actively participate, enlivening their neighborhoods and tightening the fabric of their cities.”

—M. Leanne Lachman,
jury chair

The Urban Open Space Award celebrates and promotes vibrant, successful urban open spaces by annually recognizing and rewarding an outstanding example of a public destination that has enriched and revitalized its surrounding community.

2013 Winners

Congratulations to the Parks and Waterfront at Southeast False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Yards Park in Washington, D.C., the 2013 winners of the ULI Urban Open Space Award.

About the Award

The award was created through the generosity of Amanda M. Burden, New York City planning commissioner and 2009 laureate of the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. In 2011, the Kresge Foundation, the MetLife Foundation, and the ULI Foundation joined forces to continue the ULI Urban Open Space Award through 2014.


The winner of the ULI Urban Open Space Award receives a commemorative plaque and is recognized in an awards ceremony held in conjunction with ULI’s Fall Meeting. A $10,000 cash prize is awarded to support the individual or organization most responsible for the regular upkeep and/or creation of the winning open space project. Further recognition includes press releases and announcements in Urban Land magazine and on ULI.org.


Eligible projects must:

  • Be located in an urbanized area in North America;
  • Have been open to the public at least one year and no more than 15 years;
  • Be predominantly outdoors and inviting to the public;
  • Be a lively gathering space, providing abundant and varied seating, sun and shade, and trees and plantings, with attractions and features that offer many different ways for visitors to enjoy the space;
  • Be used intensively on a daily basis, and act as a destination for a broad spectrum of users throughout the year;
  • Have a positive economic impact on its surroundings;
  • Promote physical, social, and economic health of the larger community; and
  • Provide lessons, strategies, and techniques that can be used or adapted in other communities.

View additional submission details.


Members of the jury serve in evaluating the ULI Urban Open Space Award and the ULI Awards for Excellence, applying the same rigorous procedure for each of these specific awards. Jury members are selected internationally to achieve regional balance and represent several facets of development expertise, including finance, architecture, land planning and development, public affairs, design, and professional services. Learn more.

Winners and Finalists, 2010–2013

View larger map.

Past Winners

Railroad Park — 2012 Urban Open Space Award Winner

Rail Road Park

Railroad Park in Birmingham, Alabama occupies the historical seam created by a rail viaduct that bisects downtown. The…

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Citygarden — 2011 Urban Open Space Award Winner

Spray Plaza at Night

Citygarden, a 2.9-acre richly landscaped sculpture garden and park that has altered the perception of the city’s downtown…

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Campus Martius — 2010 Urban Open Space Award Winner

UOSA 2010 Winner -- Campus Martius (alternate)

Campus Martius Park has become the heart of downtown Detroit’s development story and its signature public space. The…

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ULI Urban Open Space Award: Winners and Finalists Through the Years

A complete list of winners and finalists since the award's inception in 2010.

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Nominate an Open Space

The Finalists for the 2014 Urban Open Space Award will be announced in May.

After conducting the jury site visits, and completing additional evaluation of each project, the winner will be announced during the ULI Fall Meeting in New York, October 21-24. At this time the submission period for the 2015 cycle will open.

For additional information, please e-mail awards@uli.org.

Video: 2013 Finalists

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