Richard Rogers has been awarded the 2015 Urban Land Institute J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development
The prize, which is the institute’s highest honour, recognises a person who has ‘demonstrated a long-term commitment to creating communities which reflect the highest standards of design and development’.
It was set up to honour the legacy of Kansas City developer J.C. Nichols who was also a founding member of the Urban Land Institute.
Rogers is the sixteenth recipient of the prize and was recognised for his ‘career-long focus on creating sustainable communities’ including his work as an architect and as chair of the government’s Urban Task Force between 1998 and 2000.
Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and 2015 Nichols Prize jury chair Marilyn Taylor, said: ‘Richard’s work, whether it is architecture or advocacy, shines a spotlight on the challenges that people in urban areas are facing and offers solutions that can be implemented.
‘Living well in cities and extending that sense of wellness to everyone – those are the impacts that Richard is making with his words, his advocacy and his work. His impact is as much about how he has affected public policy as in the buildings he has built. Better ideas about housing, or about how public space meets a building – that’s where Richard’s contribution is.’
She added: ‘What makes Richard’s work intriguing is that he has always been ahead of his time. He inherently included sustainability goals and the responsible use of scarce resources before they (those practices) became the norm. And, he was among the first to stand up for the values of place and the quality of human life. Richard’s confidence that design, when executed well, will make a difference in people’s lives has truly set for him an extraordinary path that continues today.’
Another jury member and founder of Lipton Rogers, Stuart Lipton, added: ‘The impact of Richard’s buildings can always be seen by the smiles of people enjoying his buildings. Richard is a master architect with a very humble strategy, which is understanding people. He is one of those rare individuals who understands the relationship between public space, wonderful architecture, and the needs of ordinary people.’
In addition to Taylor and Lipton, other 2015 Nichols Prize jury members included Dana Crawford, chairman, Urban Neighbourhoods, professor at Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture Ellen Dunham Jones and Mark Johnson, president of Civitas.
Rogers will be awarded the prize during the institute’s European conference in Paris in February.