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A Different Kind of Design Competition: EDRA and PPS to Collaborate on 2015 Great Places Awards

Dec 16, 2014
Dec 14, 2017
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What makes a great place? The Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) takes this question very seriously, and they want to highlight the year’s most innovative projects with the 2015 Annual Great Places Awards. PPS is proud to announce their collaboration with EDRA this year to support and expand this competition, which is now in its 17th year, and to help recognize those Placemakers that are making a real difference in their communities and across the globe.

EDRA is committed to the advancement and dissemination of environmental design research to foster a better understanding of the relationship between people and their built and natural surroundings. Unlike awards that simply exalt extravagant design, the Great Places Awards recognize the interdisciplinarity of creative Placemakers. Identifying those projects that combine expertise in design, research, and practice, the 2015 Great Places Awards considers places in their entirety—as dynamic and inclusive lived environments that engage our attention and imagination. The competition invites participation from a range of design and research disciplines — particularly projects whose significance extends beyond any one profession or field.

Sugar Beach near Lake Ontario, one of last years EDRA Great Places Award winners | Image via EDRA

A diverse jury will assess projects in four categories: Place Design, Place Planning, Place Research, and a Book Award. The jury evaluates how each project, no matter what the discipline, addresses the human experience of well-designed places. Applicants must not only provide renderings of their proposed places/projects (if applicable), but they must also answer a series of questions addressing the project’s social impact, its connection with the surrounding area, and how the voice of the community was integrated into the research. Each of these themes are central to PPS’s Eleven Principles for Creating Great Places, and those projects successfully engaging these Placemaking principles will surely have an edge in this year’s Great Places competition.

All submissions for the 2015 Great Places Awards must be electronically uploaded to the submission site, found here, by 11:59pm ET on Monday, February 16, 2015. The jury will convene in early 2015 and awards will be announced and presented at the 2015 EDRA conference held May 27-30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

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Learn About PPS’s Three-Pronged Approach to Drive Change