Rudy Bruner Award winners highlight the diversity of innovation in our cities today. They show us urban excellence at all scales and inspire us with their optimism.

Simeon Bruner | Founder

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) is a national design award program that recognizes transformative urban places that contribute to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of American cities. The award was created in 1985 to promote innovative thinking and conversation about the role of design in cities by seeking out and sharing the stories of creative and inspiring urban development. 

A program of the Bruner Foundation, the RBA was founded by architect Simeon Bruner. It is named in honor of his father, Rudy Bruner, who established the Bruner Foundation with his wife Martha in 1963, and had a life-long interest in architecture and cities and published books by Frank Lloyd Wright under Horizon Press.

Since 1987 the RBA has recognized 88 medalists over 17 biennial award cycles that illustrate the diversity and evolution of urban development in America. Each medalist is documented with a detailed case study. Observations and lessons learned from the award cycle are captured and summarized in an essay. The case studies and essay from each cycle are published online and in books. 

The RBA is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning about urban development. Each cycle of the award uncovers new projects that reveal innovative tactics as well as affirm recurring themes (link to: “Creating Excellent Urban Places: Learning from the Rudy Bruner Award“). In addition to the biennial award, the RBA produces public programs—in-person and virtual events, presentations, and webinars—and publications—articles and papers in addition to the case studies, essays, books—that share the stories of award-winning projects along with observations and lessons learned, connect people with resources, and foster dialogue about urban development and design. 

NOTE: The biennial award cycle is on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sign up for the RBA newsletter below to receive updates.