Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have come to the conclusion that it will not be possible to do the Urbanism Awards in the usual format this year. We could have done the shortlisting online but the big problem was the assessment visits that almost certainly would not be possible. So all of the nominations that we have received this year will be held over until 2021.
As an alternative this year we are proposing to do something that has been discussed for some time, namely a ‘Best of the Best’ awards. Believe it or not, there are now 210 places that have been shortlisted for Urbanism Awards in the last 14 years. All of these have been visited written up, drawn, photographed and immortalised in poetry. Many of the runners up could easily have been winners and it is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and refresh our learning from all of these great places.
Academicians will nominate their top 15 places from a list of past finalists by 15 May. When the votes are counted we will draw up a shortlist of the 15 best places. We will then go back to the places and get an update on what they are doing. If by chance a place is unable to take part we will choose from a ‘next best’ list. If restrictions are lifted it may be that we can organise visits in September and October, but if not we will draw up a checklist for each of the participating places.
Voting will take place as usual in November and we hope that we can hold the Awards Ceremony as planned on 25th November.
We look forward to revisiting these finalists, reflecting not only on what has made them great but how these lessons can help shape our towns and cities of the future.
Video: Why the Urbanism Awards matters
Finalists from the 2020 Urbanism Awards speak on what the Awards means to their place.