Each year, CNU-IL awards projects and people that best fulfill and advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.

The Urban Citizen Award is an award that recognizes a person or organization for their outstanding implementation of projects, strategies, initiatives or policy changes in the state of Illinois that are in alignment with the principles found within the Charter of the New Urbanism.​​​

Winners are chosen by a jury of distinguished architects, designers, developers, engineers, planners, and scholars.  Projects are submitted representing: the region (metropolis, city, and town); the neighborhood, district, & corridor and lastly; the block, the street, and the building.  

Winners are recognized at the CNU-IL Winter Social in early December. 


Previous CNU Illinois Charter Award Winners

Award Winners



Orwigsburg Public Library (Orwigsburg, PA)  A proposed community library that completes an existing block along a publc square that adds to local context and vernacular. 



Lawrenceville Comprehensive and Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan (Lawrenceville, IL)  A future development plan that preserves original infrastructure and utilitzes attainable tactics by reinforcing the assets of the city as a path of rejuvenation.



Elgin Artspace Lofts (Elgin, IL).  The project consists of two buildings, one a historic building that has been renovated and the other a new modern style addition connected by a one-story gallery space that could be used for art exhibitions.  


South Elgin Bike and Pedestrian Plan (South Elgin, IL)   A plan focusing on promoting walking and biking as reasonable options for everyday trips that is implemented through various strategies.  



Bristol Place Redevelopment Master Plan (Champaign, IL)     A well thought out neighborhood plan proposing multiple housing types and connectivity to the surrounding area as a catalyst for regrowth and establishing a sense of place.

Thank you to our 2014 Charter Award jury for participating in the award selection process!  Their expertise, diverse backgrounds, and dedication to their craft continue to build the credibility of these awards.


The jury consisted of (from left to right): James Broughton (Fitzgerald Associates), John Greenfield (Streetsblog Chicago), and Emily Talon (Arizona State University), Jennifer Settle (MGLM Architects, Jury Co-chair, not pictured), and Jerremy Foss (Manhard Consulting, Ltd, Jury Chair, not pictured).


Award Winners



Midtown Square (Glenview, IL)  A mixed-use redevelopment in downtown Glenview within walking distance of the Metra commuter station that is a manifestation of the Village's new form-based code



The 9750 (Orland Park, IL)  A high density mixed-use building next to Orland Park's Metra commuter station and the first project in a significant TOD plan/project the Village is undertaking.



A Vision for Division (Plainfield, IL)   A "restoration" plan for a corridor that was the original urbanism that was changed by suburban development--and IDOT policies. The plan is being implemented.



River Street Shared Street (Batavia, IL).  A downtown street in an underutilized block that was redesigned as a zero-step shared street and transformed the block.


Near South Loop Master Plan  A richly detailed plan for establishing a vibrant neighborhood where railroad yards and pedestal buildings exist now.


After Burnham: The Notre Dame Plan of Chicago 2109   This was submitted by University of Notre Dame and is an ambitious transformation of Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago applying new urbanism, urban agriculture and sustainable development practices across the region following economic decline and repurposing of the region's urban and natural landscape.


Growing Green: Park Forest Sustainability Plan  A community-based plan for transforming this post-war suburb into a sustainable place and reinforcing and improving the urbanism that presently exists.


2012 Award Winners

Harper Court - Charter Award
Winners in 2012 were:

Charter Award
Harper Court in Hyde Park by Harper Court Partners, LLC in partnership with the University of Chicago and the City of Chicago.

Merit Award
Village of Mundelein Master Redevelopment Implementation Plan by Farr and Associates.

Honorable Mention
Jane's Noble Village by Gorman & Company, Inc., in conjuction with the Rockford Housing Authority and the City of Rockford.

Urban Citizen Award
Gabe Klein, Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner

Village of Mundelein Redevelopment - Merit Award

Pictured above and to the left

Janes's Noble Village - Honorable Mention

Pictured above and to the right

A special thank you to our 2012 Charter Award jury for participating in the selection process!  Their insight and judgement instill a tremendous amout of credibility  to these awards.


The jury consisted of: (seated, left to right) Todd Fagan (ARC Design Group), Ezra Monasebian (Will County Land Use Department), Steve Lazzara (Will County Land Use Department), (standing, left to right) Peter Kindel (Smith & Gil Architects), Jennifer McNiel-Dhadwal (URS), Sara Ellis (Will County Land Use Department), and Tim Scott (Village of Hinsdale).

Gabe Klein - Citizen Award

Photography from Chicago Department of Transportation

2011 Award Winners

Winners in 2011 were:

Charter Award
Grand Central High Speed Rail Terminal by MGLM Architects (Top Left)
Grant Place Rowhomes by Sullivan Goulette & Wilson (Middle Left)

Merit Award
Garfield Boulevard Regeneration Planning Study by HOK
Pullman Park by Pappageorge Haymes Partners (Bottom Right)

Honorable Mention
Devon-Sheridan TIF District Design Guidelines / Vision Plan and Loyola Station  Square by Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Shrinking Towards Urbanism: East St. Louis Transit Corridor by Farr Associates

Urban Citizen Award
Reverend Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.
Ms. Rashmi Ramaswamy, SHED Studio
Mr. Tom Roeser, Otto Engineering