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Suisman Urban Design honorary award winner ‘Hartford 400’. Image courtesy of Suisman Urban Design.


The AIA California named three projects as winners of this year’s Urban Design Awards, which serve as a survey of the different methods employed in the industry to “reclaim and reinvent” different urban landscapes nationwide.

Originally from Connecticut Doug Suisman won the honor award for designing his hometown Hartford 400, a three-part master plan that will bring a walkable waterfront neighborhood online, pedestrian access and a new greenway to the capital in time for the 400th birthday of his founder in 2035. It was followed by two Merit Award projects from Perkins and Will and CMG Landscape Architects (with JENSEN) that will improve San Francisco and Sacramento with a playground renovation and a 31-acre rail-centric redevelopment, respectively.

“We are thrilled and honored to recognize and honor this wonderful work with the 2022 AIACA Urban Design Awards,” 2022 Chapter President Rona Rothenberg said in a statement. “Each project advances AIA California’s strategic goals and objectives, vision and mission, from excellence in sustainable city and regional planning to well-designed, resilient communities where we came from, and to which we return. and collaborate.

Jurors included Studio MLA founder Mia Lehrer and UCLA Stephanie Landregan, Extension’s Landscape Program Manager, and three others. Check out this year’s winners below.

Honor Award: Hartford 400 by Suisman Urban Design (Hartford, CT)




Suisman Urban Design honorary award winner 'Hartford 400'.  Image courtesy of Suisman Urban Design.

Suisman Urban Design honorary award winner ‘Hartford 400’. Image courtesy of Suisman Urban Design.


Suisman Urban Design honorary award winner 'Hartford 400'.  Image courtesy of Suisman Urban Design.

Suisman Urban Design honorary award winner ‘Hartford 400’. Image courtesy of Suisman Urban Design.

Jury Comments: “An excellent plan for the heart of Hartford, envisioning unifying and livable strategies. It is reinventing the next generation of cities. It solves the problems of the previous generation of urban planning. It aggregates a number of moves: it removes elevated highways, connects to the river, and creates a linear park. As the design is made, it must consider how to connect to the urban fabric and ensure that the people who inhabit the adjacent area can stay.

Merit Award: Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground by CMG Landscape Architects with JENSEN (San Francisco, California)


CMG Landscape Architects and JENSEN Merit Award winner Willie 'Woo Woo' Wong Playground.  Photo: Bruce Damonte.

CMG Landscape Architects and JENSEN Merit Award winner Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground. Photo: Bruce Damonte.


CMG Landscape Architects and JENSEN Merit Award winner Willie 'Woo Woo' Wong Playground.  Photo: Bruce Damonte.

CMG Landscape Architects and JENSEN Merit Award winner Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground. Photo: Bruce Damonte.

Jury Comments: “Land is very scarce in San Francisco and for this design team, creating an ‘oasis’ for children in a concrete jungle is a game-changer. It’s a complex urban project – the way it manages the relationship between the sidewalk and the internal parts of the building and the building envelope is very intelligent. It is well executed and offers a variety of experiences. The proof of its success is that it is built and used. It is a joyful and playful space.

Merit Award: Sacramento Valley Station by Perkins&Will (Sacramento, CA)


Perkins&Will's Merit Award winner Sacramento Valley Station.  Image: Steelblue

Perkins&Will’s Merit Award winner Sacramento Valley Station. Image: Steelblue


Perkins&Will's Merit Award winner Sacramento Valley Station.  Image: Steelblue

Perkins&Will’s Merit Award winner Sacramento Valley Station. Image: Steelblue

Jury Comments: “This project is well designed; it is a noble transit-based project. A holistic approach to energy and environment as well as land use is a concrete and achievable proposal They’re trying to fill the big gap between the station and the actual train tracks – it’s very tricky The new transit concourse becomes the beacon of this transit-oriented design, providing jobs and connectivity vital on the other side of the “tracks”.

Learn more about this year’s rewards program here.










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