MacArthur Fellow Majora Carter and Winners of the Student Design Competition to be Honored at the Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards

By Elizabeth Paul on Jan 30, 2020

Majora Carter - Winner of the 2020 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Award

MIS Capital Returns as Presenting Sponsor

Philadelphia, PA, January 24, 2020 – The Center for Architecture and Design (Center) will host a talk by Peabody Award-winning broadcaster, Majora Carter, as the recipient of the 2020 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Award. Most known for her work as a real estate developer and urban revitalization strategy consultant, she is responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous economic developments, green-infrastructure projects and policies, and job training and placement systems. Most famously, in 2007 Carter instigated and led the development of the first new South Bronx waterfront park in over 60 years; and most recently launched The Boogie Down Grind to help retain talent in low-status communities. The ceremony will take place at the Center on February 11, 2020.

In addition to Ms. Carter’s talk, the ceremony will also honor the winners of the annual Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Challenge, a student design competition which asks university-level students from around the world to design innovative solutions for Philadelphia's neighborhoods, abandoned land, and infrastructure issues which represent modern-day urban design challenges. The first-place winning team receives a $5,000 prize. 

This year’s challenge asked students to consider how the Chelten Avenue shopping district in the Germantown section of Philadelphia could be designed to better support the local community, improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians (and all modes of transit), and help reveal existing nearby amenities available to residents and shoppers: from public parks and swimming pools to historic attractions and urban farms. The Center partnered with Germantown United Community Development Corporation to ensure that the competition brief was informed by the needs of the community and that the submitted entries would be of value. Through this competition, the Center strives to elicit ideas from students that will spark community organizations’ and local stakeholders’ visions of what their community could be. 

The 2020 winning students are from Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom; the University of Pennsylvania; and the University of Massachusetts. Their designs will be on display at the Center for several weeks, and they will present their work at the Awards Ceremony on February 11th. You can view more about the winning designs on the Center’s website.

The winning designs were selected by a blind jury of accomplished developers, designers, and policy experts: 

  • Elinor Bacon, founder + principal of E.R. Bacon Development
  • Emaleigh Doley, Deputy Director at Germantown United Community Development Corporation
  • Alan Jacobson, founder + president of Exit Design and J2 Design
  • Christopher Puchalsky, Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives at the Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS)
  • Jess Zimbabwe, founder + principal of Plot Strategies

The awards are presented in honor of the legacy of Philadelphia’s ambitious and outspoken City Planner, Edmund N. Bacon [1910-2005], who is recognized as one of the most significant city planners of the 20th century. As the first Executive Director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, from 1949-1970, his design concepts shaped the physical landscape of the post-World-War-II city. Bacon’s work had such national significance that he was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1964 and brought Philadelphia into the national spotlight as a city that was ambitiously planning for its future. 

Founded in 2006, these annual awards honor an accomplished figure who has made significant contributions to the fields of urban planning, development, and design through conviction of vision, effective communication, and commitment to improving their community. Past awardees include

  • Ed Rendell, former Mayor of Philadelphia and Governor of Pennsylvania
  • Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation
  • Denise Scott Brown, Founder + Principal of Venturi Scott Brown Associates
  • Paul Goldberger, former Architecture Critic for the New Yorker Magazine
  • Janette Sadik-Kahn, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation
  • Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá, Columbia
  • John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado

The awards ceremony also honors the winners of an annual Student Design Competition which asks university-level students from around the world to design innovative solutions for Philadelphia's neighborhoods, abandoned land, and infrastructure issues that represent modern-day urban design challenges. The first-place winning team receives a $5,000 prize.

The 2020 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards is generously supported by our presenting sponsor, MIS Capital.

2020 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards
February 11, 2020 | 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Tickets Available Now