Skip to main content

Civic Space Park named as 2011 Rudy Bruner Award Medal recipient

November 14, 2011

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence has named Civic Space Park as a 2011 Silver Medal recipient. The prestigious biennial award honors urban places that, through their design and development, have lasting transformative impacts on their urban neighborhoods and communities.

Civic Space Park, a joint project between Arizona State University's School of Community Resources and Development in the College of Public Programs and the City of Phoenix, along with three fellow Silver Medalists, will receive a $10,000 prize.

Established in 1986 and now in its 13th award cycle, the Rudy Bruner Award has recognized more than 65 projects that demonstrate excellence in urban placemaking. Unique for its focus on the interplay of process, place and values in creating enriching urban environments, and its extensive, on-site evaluation process, the award honors projects that, through innovative collaborations, establish new approaches for transforming urban challenges into community opportunities.

“Civic Space Park and its fellow 2011 winners illustrate the combination of factors that make good design such a valuable agent of positive change,” said Brandy H. M. Brooks, director of the award program. “Beyond achieving aesthetic excellence, these projects demonstrate an intimate understanding of the users’ needs and an imperative to address their broader social, economic and environmental challenges. Each project reflects participation across a wide spectrum of community interests that came together to create beautiful, resourceful and creative urban solutions that serve the future of their neighborhoods and cities.”

Civic Space Park demonstrates how local governments and major institutions can successfully partner to create exceptional urban assets for the whole community. Building upon the success of ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus as a revitalizing force, the City of Phoenix and ASU undertook the joint creation of this new 2.8-acre public park, transforming a blighted area into a sustainable, mixed-use amenity that serves diverse community needs.

Located at the crossroads between four distinct institutions – Arizona State University, the YMCA, a low-income senior housing development and the Central Transit Station – the park connects important public and university facilities to draw students, seniors, employees, commuters and visitors to Phoenix’s downtown core. The historic AE England Building, renovated as a multi-use hall and café, anchors the park, while Janet Echelman’s luminescent sculpture establishes a distinct civic identity.

Designed by AECOM and developed through the unprecedented town-and-gown partnership between the City and ASU, with substantial input from voters, businesses, and civic groups, Civic Space Park was applauded by the selection committee for the high level of community engagement that brought it to fruition.

“This year’s winners reflect two important themes: The desire for communities to shape the future of their important public spaces and the need for local governments, institutions and citizens to join together to take on the pressing social issues confronting our collective future,” said architect Simeon Bruner, the award’s founder. “In honoring these accomplishments, we hope the Rudy Bruner Award will inspire other communities to take action.”