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Since 2001, the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) has administered the CNU Charter Awards program. Regarded as the preeminent global award for excellence in urban design, the CNU Charter Awards honors a select number of winners and honorable mentions - including one grand professional prize, and one grand academic prize for students – across multiple categories from a competitive field of entries. CNU convenes a jury of distinguished designers, architects, planners and scholars who review the entries and select the winners.
Winning projects are recognized 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. Recognizing outstanding architectural, landscape and urban designs built in harmony with their physical and social contexts, the Charter Awards have honored projects from Andorra to South Africa, Beijing to San Antonio.
CNU hosts an awards ceremony honoring Charter Awards winners at its annual conference. In addition, CNU publishes a book of award-winning projects that is a staple on the desks of mayors, municipal planners, government leaders and in university libraries. From the time of its establishment, the CNU Charter Awards has come to influence the ways in which cities, towns and regions approach development and design, and is the only interdisciplinary award that honors the full context of contemporary projects integrated within their communities.