Urbanism Awards

Identifying, promoting and learning from great places

The Urbanism Awards are the Academy’s primary platform for recognising the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments. We have visited, assessed and celebrated outstanding examples of good urbanism across the UK, Ireland and Europe. As well as providing a means to build relationships with places that are doing good work, the Awards help us to build a strong evidence base for high quality, innovative and sustainable urbanism, which we share online, in print and at events.

Nominate for the 2021 Urbanism Awards

Read our assessment reports

View all poems, drawings and figure grounds

View our photo archive


The Process

The Urbanism Awards take place on an annual basis and generate a calendar of activities that Academicians and Young Urbanists can engage with. These include assessment visits, shortlisting workshops and, of course, the Awards Ceremony itself.

All year round – The Call for Entries
Nominations are welcome from anyone. We invite all to tell us where they feel is a Great Place and what we can potentially learn from the candidate.

April 7 – Shortlisting Panel
Nominations are shortlisted to 10 in each category by a panel of Academicians.

April 28 – Selection and Announcement of Finalists
Workshop at which Academicians and Young Urbanists decide the three finalists in each category.

July-September – The Assessment Visits
Our teams of Academicians travel to each finalist and compile a report based on our assessment criteria. Following these visits, Academicians vote for their winner in each category.

November (afternoon) – Learning from Europe Seminar
Prior to the Awards Ceremony, we invite our three European City of the Year finalists to join us at the Learning from Europe seminar to talk about their past, present and future.

November (evening) – The Awards Ceremony
The winners are announced at The Awards Ceremony – the Academy’s most high-profile event. The event will be co-hosted by the Academy’s Poet in Residence Ian McMillan, and previous speakers have included Sir Simon Jenkins, Jonathan Meades, The Right Honorable Roy Hattersley, Roger McGough, Sir Terry Farrell, Wally Olins CBE, Christer Larsson and Angela Brady.


During each assessment visit we look at the following areas

1. Leadership and Governance: Is the Finalist well managed, inclusive, fair?

2. Local Character: To what extent does the Finalist provide a distinctive sense of place, identity and cultural resonance?

3. Amenity: To what extent is the Finalist an attractive, safe and enticing place for people to live, work, play, visit and enjoy?

4. Commercial Success & Viability: To what extent does the Finalist provide a conducive environment for wealth creation and distribution and is it able to support the maintenance and improvement of its urban environment?

5. Environmental Sustainability: To what extent does the Finalist exhibit and promote environmental sustainability?

6. Community, Health and Wellbeing: To what extent does the Finalist exhibit and promote civic behaviour, social cohesion, health and wellbeing?

7. Connectivity: To what extent does the Finalist provide transport and access options to an appropriate range of urban services?


The learning from the Awards generates a number of publications (Learning from Place, Space Place Life, Here & Now journal) and events, not to mention our online archive of Great Places assessments.


For more information about The Urbanism Awards and for press enquiries, please contact Olga Gaitani on +44 (0) 20 7251 8777 or email.