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California Architects Compete for Top Prize in Urban Design

The purpose of the AIA CA Awards for Urban Design, administered jointly with the California Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects (CCASLA), is to simply recognize distinguished achievements in the ever-expanding role of the architect in urban design, city planning, and community development. This award serves to identify projects and programs that involve public participation and contribute to the quality of the urban environment.

Urban Design is defined as the realm of physical design encompassing master planning and landscape plans to conceptual architectural design. This definition includes research and the design of spaces at all scales: from places between buildings to regional master plans. It looks at time from the conception and expression of an idea to the many phases of a master plan. This year’s jury included Gwynne Pugh, FAIA, Frank Fuller, FAIA, Stephanie Reich, AIA, and Pamela Brief, ASLA, PLA.

They had their work cut out for them with several skillful plans in front of their eyes. The group narrowed it down to the following recipients:

Honor: Downtown Dublin Preferred Vision | Urban Field Studio and ELS Architecture and Urban Design

The jury was unanimous in this project. One commented that it was the most impressive of the submissions. The project spoke to community outreach, and that the size and scale was well-integrated within the surrounding fabric. It creates identity and has a sense of unity and purpose, combining the nature of the mixed use with the surrounding environment.
“As a concept project, this is excellent,” said one juror.
The jury also noted how the designers did a good job of creating spaces where there wasn’t any.
They noted how the scale of the overall master plan and what they’ve done with the before and after is exceptional.

Merit: Baldwin Hills Hiking Hub | YNL Architects

The jurors appreciated that this concept was a very complex place with a proposed solution that would be a massive civic project. They liked that it gives the weight of infrastructure to the pedestrian realm. This kind of investment was made for cars and now we see designs made for pedestrians which is commendable.
They loved the three-dimensional quality of the idea, and how it accommodates for the street vendor, which is sort of a Los Angeles thing. The path provides a way of getting to Ballona Creek that doesn’t happen today.


AIA CA represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California. Founded in 1944, AIA CA’s mission, in collaboration with local components, is dedicated to serving its members, advancing the value of architects, and improving the quality of the built environment. Today, AIA CA is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit

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