The Academy of Urbanism Awards this year will focus on the people who have made an outstanding contribution to our towns and cities.

Having spent 15 years focusing on awards for place, and uncertain about the restrictions that the pandemic will place on this year’s awards, we have decided that in 2021 we will focus on people.

The five categories cover everything from politicians and public officials to community activists, professionals and academics. These are the people that we have met and been inspired-by over the last 15 years of visiting great places.

We know that towns and cities are the work of many hands and it is invidious to single-out one person. However at the same time we have met lots of people without whom a place would not have achieved what it has. People who have gone above and beyond what was expected of them, who have shown drive, imagination and leadership to transform a place.

We asked our members to nominate people from the following categories: 

Civic Leader: This is an award for elected politicians at all levels of government including the many inspirational mayors that we have met over the years.

Civic Servant: Anyone working for the public sector at all levels of government.

Community Activist: People working in a voluntary or paid capacity for community groups or voluntary organisations.

Urban Re-inventor: People working in the private sector including consultants and built environment professionals, developers, housing associations and national organisations and charities.

Urban Thinker: Academics, researchers and authors working in the fields of urbanism, urban design and other urban related subjects.

Guidance for nominations:

  • Nominations should include a short description of at least 50 words about why that person deserves to receive the award.
  • The nomination should be for people rather than organisations, however in some cases it is ok to nominate a couple or a small group of individuals who have worked together.
  • Nominations in all categories can be people who are based anywhere in Europe.
  • Nominees can be Academicians or other members of The Academy of Urbanism, but they do not have to be.
  • Nominees do not have to be associated with places that have previously won or been shortlisted for an AoU Award.
  • Nominations open 24 May – 14 July 2021.

This year the Urbanism Awards process will be as follows:

  1. Members of the Academy were asked to nominate outstanding individuals for each of the five categories.
  2. All nominees were approached individually to see if they would like to participate in the Awards process. The deadline to reply was 13 September 2021.
  3. Voting packs were sent out. Voting opened 21 September – 5 October 2021 to Academicians in a secret ballot, to choose a shortlist of three. 
  4. Assessment panels will have conversations with the three finalists in each category. With permission, these meetings will be recorded and shared on our website at a later stage.
  5. Assessment panels will decide on this year's winners in each category.
  6. The winners will be announced at The Urbanism Award's Ceremony on Wednesday, 24 November 2021.

The Academy of Urbanism (Number 2) Limited is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales 0595604, 11c Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 IXE, United Kingdom.
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