Press | March 7, 2012

12th Annual Charter Awards Honor Diverse Set of Projects Highlighting Best New Urbanist Practices


CNU’s Charter Awards recognize excellence in architectural, landscape, and urban designs built in harmony with their physical and social contexts.  Awardees are selected for their excellence in fulfilling and advancing the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism, which defines the essential qualities of walkable, sustainable places from the scale of the region down to the block and building. With the twentieth annual Congress for the New Urbanism – CNU 20 – just around the corner, the winners for the 12th annual CNU Charter Awards have been announced.


The Grand Prize winner this year is the South African firm Gary White & Associates for their “Verkykerskop: Small-Scale Argricultural Town,”  (The Region: Metropolis,City,Town category) a plan that successfully integrates sustainable agricultural and environmental management into the larger development fabric of the town. The winning entry in the Academic category belongs to “A Vision of Growth in Berrien Springs & Oronoko Charter Township, Michigan,” from the Andrews University School of Architecture. Each grand prize winner will receive a gift of $3,500, courtesy of The Oram Foundation/Fund for the Environment & Urban Life.


The awards program again attracted a competitive field from around the world. Our panel of nine jurors spent a weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan carefully reviewing entries which showed a thorough understanding and appreciation of the CNU Charter. As Jury Chair Doug Kelbaugh, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning and former dean of the Taubman College of the University of Michigan, stated, “The level of sophistication displayed this year demonstrates a high architectural design standard.


In all, nine projects were judged to have best embodied and advanced the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism. An additional four projects were identified for honorable mentions. Award winners and honorable mentions are listed below, and full project descriptions for all honorees are listed on the CNU Charter Awards web page at


2012 Honorable Mention:

Melrose Commons LEED for Neighborhood Development

Bronx, New York, Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC


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