Current Awards Program

In the fall of each year, a jury is selected to decide competitive awards in four categories:  built work, unbuilt work, small project work, and student work.  These awards are presented at the fall conferences of our partner organizations:  AIA, APA, and CNU.  The fall Competitive Awards are design awards that are presented to the design team of candidate projects that are submitted for consideration.




The purpose of the Utah Urban Design Award is to recognize well-designed projects that exemplify the qualities of good design in an urban context on projects of local, municipal, regional, or statewide scale. The Utah Urban Design Award is jointly sponsored by the Utah chapters of the AIA, APA, ASLA, and CNU.  Projects may be adopted or approved urban design plans, guidelines or codes, urban design projects that have been previously published or approved, constructed projects, unbuilt work, smaller urban design products or components, and university student work in urban design. For firms and designers located outside the State of Utah, a local partner is required for entry, except within the student work category. Projects entered into the Utah Urban Design Award program must be situated in the State of Utah.


The jury will seek innovative work that can include urban design projects at various scales (mixed-use developments, multi-modal projects, comprehensive planning efforts, small area plans, transit plans, public safety projects, public realm components, urban parks, streetscapes, urban furnishing, district design, etc.)  Design efforts that deal with particular environmental, social or economic issues important to Utah, and that can serve as examples of enlightened practice in the State, are encouraged. Selection favors well-designed solutions that exhibit a clear understanding and conscious presentation within your submission of the following: the human scale, connectivity, safety, accessibility, place qualities, environmental sensitivity, and sustainability.




A Utah Urban Design Award Sub-committee of the AIA Utah Urban Design Committee will organize the annual Utah Urban Design Awards. The chair of this sub-committee will be the Jury Facilitator. The Jury Facilitator will be present at any jury meeting, facilitate and organize the jury, but will not have a voting role in the selection of winners or weigh in on jury deliberations. The sub-committee will meet in advance of each year's judging to select the jurors for that year's set of awards.


The ˈAIA Utah Design Award Protocolsˈ will be used as the basis for this set of urban design awards, but will be amended as described below. The Jury will meet in person, with the possibility of digital participation for those who cannot attend in person. The narrative for each entry will be read aloud by the Jury Facilitator and a silent first round of voting will occur after reading of the narrative is complete. The jury will utilize a Yes/No/Maybe structure for the first round of judging. After first round culling of submissions, a second round will involve Jury discussion and comment, and submissions will be reviewed and scored on a sheet with categories provided to the jurors. These sheets will be tallied and presented for further discussion until jurying is complete for each category (and at the varied award levels).


The Jury Facilitator/Facilitation team will take notes on the discussion and organize these for later distribution as needed for press release.


The Jury will be composed of five members, all but one of whom is required to be a resident of the State of Utah. This allows a guest juror of note to take part in the awards program. The Jury will be composed of representatives of the built environment professions and will be selected as follows:


  • An architect, associated with AIA or ACSA;

  • A landscape architect, associated with ASLA or CELA;

  • A planner, associated with APA or ACSP;


An at large design professional;


  • A guest juror, preferably an urban designer;


Jury members will recuse themselves from comment and voting on submissions that they are individually associated with, and will leave the room during those project discussions.  




Honor and Merit Awards can be given in each category. Unanimous vote of the jury is required for an Honor Award to be bestowed. The jury is not obligated to give any awards in a category if they believe that no project fulfills the Honor or Merit category.  The following award categories will be used in the annual Utah Urban Design Awards program:


Built work: an urban design project that is situated in the State of Utah and where construction is substantially complete;


Unbuilt work: an urban design project in the State of Utah, which was not constructed or has not yet been constructed; may also include project plans, planning tools, or other urban design policy initiatives;


Small product work: a small urban design product or component of a larger Utah project that might be portable and used in other projects, e.g., innovative furniture, lighting, bike rack, rubbish bin, signage, wayfinding system, shade covering, etc;


Student work: an urban design project that was undertaken through a Utah University for a client-based studio or research project; or any other non-Utah based university studio or research project that was situated in the State of Utah.




Each fall the Urban Design Utah Awards are presented at one of the fall professional conferences in the State of Utah. Awards presentation rotate every three years between the chapter conferences and awards luncheons of Utah’s American Institute of Architects, the American Planning Association, and the Conference for the New Urbanism. Awards recipients are notified by email a week before the awards presentation to ensure they can attend the luncheon of that particular professional organization.