ULI Urban Open Space Awards

The ULI Urban Open Space Awards recognize transformative open spaces—including parks, plazas, squares, memorials, trails, and other non-traditional park and open space formats. A jury of distinguished ULI members reviews all applications and selects a group of finalists. The jury typically visits each finalist in person; in 2020 the jury will conduct video interviews with members of the development and design teams. After talking to the teams behind these open spaces, the jury reconvenes to select the winner(s). ULI will announce winners by October.

View a gallery of entries to the 2020 awards program.


You do not need to be a ULI member to submit a project. The Awards are open to projects around the world. Projects are eligible if they:
1. are predominantly outdoors and inviting to the public;
2. have been open to the public at least one year as of the deadline of March 6, 2020.

To Apply (we recommend you review these in the order listed):

  1. Read the submission instructions (last updated January 14, 2020);
  2. Review the sample submission form for additional instructions for each field (last updated January 21, 2020);
  3. Download the PowerPoint presentation template (last updated Dec. 2, 2019). You will find instructions on how to complete the PowerPoint in the submission form. Download an example of a PowerPoint based on 2018 winning project Levy Park;
  4. Review the example of a contact sheet from 2018 winning project Levy Park. You will find instructions on how to complete the contact sheet in the submission form; and
  5. ULI accepts submissions through an online form only, available at www.uli.org/uosa2020. You must have a ULI account to submit the form. If you do not have an account, you can create a free account and then access the form.

Benefits and Recognition

  • Cash prize. At the discretion of ULI and the Jury, ULI will award one or more cash prizes of up to $10,000 to support the individual(s) or organization(s) most responsible for the operations and maintenance and/or creation of the winning open space project.
  • Commemorative gift. All winners will receive a commemorative gift.
  • Certificates. All winners will receive certificates for up to ten team members.
  • Press and recognition. ULI will recognize each winning project:
    • In the print edition of Urban Land magazine
    • on Urban Land online
    • in press releases for finalists and winners
    • on ULI websites
    • on ULI social media channels (followers as of 11/7/19):
    • ULI Fall or Spring Meeting. After selection of the winners, ULI will be able to determine whether to have representatives of winning and/or finalist teams present about their open space projects at ULI Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA, in October 2020, or ULI Spring Meeting in Denver, CO, in May 2021.


ULI created the award through the generosity of Amanda M. Burden, former 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, MetLife Foundation, and the ULI Foundation joined forces to continue the award through 2014. In 2015 the Urban Land Institute continued its support of the initiative and announced it the program was open to global submissions. In 2018 and 2020, the program is partnering with 10 Minute Walk, a movement dedicated to improving access to safe, high-quality parks and green spaces in cities—large and small—throughout the United States. Led by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Urban Land Institute, 10 Minute Walk is working to create a world in which, by 2050, all people live within a 10-minute walk of a park or green space. In alignment with the campaign, the Award will recognize parks and urban open spaces that have been instrumental in promoting healthy, sustainable, and equitable outcomes in communities.


Would you like to receive updates about the ULI Urban Open Space Awards? Complete the template below or email us at Awards@uli.org:

Questions? Email awards@uli.org


Important Dates

Submissions open: December 2, 2019
Early Bird deadline: Feb. 7, 2020
Final deadline: March 6, 2020, 11:59pm PST
Finalists Announced: May 21, 2020
Finalist Profiles in Urban Land: July 8–15, 2020
Jury Interviews Project Teams: June–Aug. 2020
Winners Announced By: Oct. 2020

Transformative Urban Open Space
Transformative Urban Open Space highlights award winners and finalists in the first five years of the prize and includes articles framing the debate on the value of these spaces.

Transformative Urban Open Space

About the Award