Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards + Student Competition

Submission: 31st January 2024 Registration: 31st January 2024 Location: Concept Language: English Prizes: View Website Type: Open

Founded in 2006 in memory of Philadelphia’s iconic 20th-century city planner, Edmund N. Bacon [1910-2005], this annual program honors both professionals and students whose work epitomizes excellence in urban design. Each year, a professional who has made significant contributions to the field of urban planning – through conviction of vision, effective communication, and commitment to improving their community – is selected to receive the Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Award.

In addition, the winner of our student urban design competition is honored with the Edmund N. Bacon Student Urban Design Award.  The student design competition attracts undergraduate and graduate students from around the globe and the competition focuses on an area or location in Philadelphia.  Students are challenged to present bold ideas that will improve the area, while prioritizing community needs as a core tenet of design excellence.


July – August 2023: Competition Brief Launches

September 21, 2023: Workshop on Culturally Competent Community Engagement

October 6, 2023: Deadline for questions

January 31, 2024: Final date to submit entries

February or March 2024 (date TBD): Awards Ceremony in Philadelphia



Your task is to envision and develop innovative solutions that build upon thehistorical context and principles established by the PSBP. Consider how thisunique institution, fueled by the collective wisdom and determination of the 7thWard, can continue to foster economic agency, equitable housing, and politicalempowerment. Your design should embrace the spirit of resilience and self-sufficiency while addressing the challenges of the time. How can you leverage thepower of real estate, collective gathering, education, and idea exchange to create asustainable and thriving community for generations to come?Additionally, you may consider one or multiple of the following factors to enrichyour ideas within the framework of established construct.

Study the history and community dynamics of the 7th Ward during its vibrantpeak during the late 19th century to the early 20th century. Delve into this richpast to draw inspiration and envision an imagined future for the ward.

The proposed design solution should integrate the concept of inheritedwealth and envision how this wealth could have been utilized to foster self-reliance and entrepreneurship. This can be achieved by proposing models ofcommunity ownership that prioritize the needs and interests of both residentsand businesses, ensuring their support and sustainability.

Promote creative urban planning that encourages a strong sense ofcommunity, connectivity, and well-being. Emphasis can also be placedon developing institutional support, retail establishments, and culturalopportunities. Consider the enhancement of energy efficiency, improvedmobility, and expanded access to various services and amenities. Theaccessibility and relationships with neighboring communities, as well asthe pressures associated with zoning and development, should also beconsidered.

The proposed design solution should include creative technologicaladvancements that enhance the community’s quality of life and advanceeconomic prosperity by considering innovative ideas that push the boundariesof what could be possible.

The competition will focus on the site bounded in the south by South Street,the north by Spruce Street and east to west from 6th Street to the SchuylkillRiver. Its history has incorporated several significant spaces and buildings thatshould be recognized and carefully considered when incorporating them intoyour plan

Date: November 22, 2023