Sponsored by Metropolis Magazine
From the green to the groovy, the quintessential to the quirky, Project for Public Spaces will be honoring the best of North American urban parks through its 2003 Great Parks/Great Cities Awards.
The winners of the awards will be announced on Monday, June 23rd at a special reception hosted by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., in honor of the 150th anniversary of Central Park, at its world headquarters in New York City.
The reception is part of the 8th International Parks Conference, “Great Parks/Great Cities: Celebrating 150 Years of Central Park“, which will bring together over 450 leaders, professionals and partners.
Leading personalities from the world of urban parks, city and downtown management, and landscape architecture will judge the 100+ anticipated entries. Nominations are open to parks, plazas, central squares and greenways throughout North America. The award categories are:
GREAT PARKS/GREAT CITIES AWARD – for a major park or square in North America that that has added significantly to the social, economic and environmental health and well-being of that city.
GREAT COMMUNITY PLACE AWARD- for a smaller park that, although not necessarily well-known nationally, has become a nucleus of social activity and revitalization in its community or neighborhood.
CATALYST AWARD FOR URBAN PARK LEADERSHIP - for a person or organization that has successfully evolved a park or other public space to meet the needs of today’s users, by involving the community, building stewardship and making a park the setting for diverse community activities.
BEST NEW PARK AWARD – for a new park (built in the last ten years) that provides a model for the future, where the many functions of community life can take place, where people feel ownership and a sense of pride, and where public space acts as a true common ground.
YOUTH INVOLVEMENT AWARD - for an individual, or group of young people who have improved their communities by turning their spaces around. The award will provide inspiration to other youth who are working to make a difference, and trying to create public places that are comfortable for them and their peers.
NOMINATING YOUR PARK
Anyone can nominate a park for an award. For the Leadership and Youth Awards, e-mail Harriet Festing with a 200- to 300-word explanation of why you believe the nominee should win the award.
Nominated spaces must satisfy most of the key “elements of place” as described below. The criteria for selecting the organization and/or individual to receive the Leadership and Youth Awards are that they have succeeded in building a strong constituency for a park, have sustained their commitment for several years, and the result of their work has had a positive and visible impact on the community.
Award winners are short-listed, then selected by a selection panel whose members have a national perspective on parks and downtown revitalization.
Award winners will be a permanent feature on PPS websites – Great Public Spaces, Urban Parks Online, and the main Project for Public Spaces website – and promoted to a range of press.
Dave Feehan, President, International Downtown Association
Tupper Thomas, President, Prospect Parks Alliance; Co-Chair, City Parks Alliance
Jerry Baum, Co-chair, National Association for Olmsted Parks
Zari Santner, Director, Portland Parks and Recreation
Mark Cameron, Executive Director, Neighborhood Design Center
Linda Moery, Assistant Director for Partnerships, National Park Service
May 31st: deadline for applications
June 9th: awards short-list announced
June 24th: award winners announced at special reception
KEY ELEMENTS OF PLACE:
Uses and activities: the park is well-used on a regular basis by people of different ages, genders and backgrounds at different times of day and year.
Access and linkages: the park is visible and easy to get to, accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders, in addition to people who come by car. In addition, elements or attractions inside and outside the park are located in such a way that their use builds off one another.
Comfort and image: the park is comfortable, has a good image and amenities such as seating, information, food kiosks, bike racks, bulletin boards, etc. These elements make a park not only attractive but enticing for people of all ages.
Sociability: the park is a sociable place where people (locals and visitors from out of town) go to observe the passing scene, meet friends, and interact with a wide range of people that are different from themselves.