Design Awards Competition


Please join us to celebrate your project success at our next conference in the showcase of suburban revitalization, Carmel, Indiana! This will be an important gathering with peer-to-peer exchange of inspiring examples and new ideas from international participants. Carmel is readily accessible from the hub airport of Indianapolis (35 minutes from the airport). We hope you will consider presenting your design successes to an audience of your peers. 

IMCL was founded on the premise that the physical design of the city, especially its public spaces and general architectural character, is enormously important to the daily well-being of all citizens. Urban design plays an equally important role as a critical nurturing influence, especially for children and the elderly. The 2020 IMCL Urban Design Competition is intended to highlight the physical design/redesign of elements of the city that demonstrate successful solutions to common urban problems. The Competition is not simply a beauty contest, although a truly Livable City is our highest art form,  but a search for exceptionally well-designed projects that embody a natural fitness to purpose; projects that take advantage of and celebrate the unique and diverse opportunities of urban life; projects that reflect, respect and enhance their place, culture and citizenry; projects that are socially and environmentally responsible, and promise to be beloved by future generations as well.

There is no restriction on project typology so long as the project embodies IMCL principles, and is an improvement of/addition to/new design of an urban element, urban district, urban center or city, or is a project that seeks to transform a town or suburban environment to a more accessible, useful, walkable, human-scaled, urbane community. Examples that embody IMCL principles would include projects that:

  • minimize automobile dominance and enhance alternatives
  • create new or revitalized urban fabric and/or public spaces
  • create a more walkable and accessible public realm that provides a rich tapestry of urban experience
  • enhance or create and celebrate an important urban amenity
  • control building bulk, height and setbacks to respond to climate, context, urban character and scale
  • respond effectively to climate realities while considering longevity and graceful aging
  • eliminate barriers and create connections in favor of accessibility and equity
  • promote health and healthy behavior
  • create a sense of order and/or focus in place of urban chaos and neglect
  • add green-, blue- or hard-scape where needed
  • etc., etc., etc.

The project may be a tiny pocket park, or a streetscape, or include an entire district or downtown. The size of the project is irrelevant; the jury will evaluate every submission based solely on the quality of the design as submitted, rather than project size ….. or the stated good intentions of the designer.

JURY PROCESS AND ELIGIBILITY                                                                                                              The peer review jury will be selected from Board Members of IMCL, with the optional addition of other distinguished Urban Design professionals. All projects will be evaluated through a two-part blind review process.  Winners will be announced at the Awards Dinner at the 2020 IMCL Conference.

Urban designers, architects, landscape architects, developers, governmental agencies, towns and cities are eligible to enter. This competition is not open to purely academic or other non-commissioned work.


JANUARY 31, 2021 EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 15, 2021 – Deadline for complete electronic submission and application fee of $245.

MARCH 1, 2021– Applicants notified of acceptance in the Competition, subject to Conference registration

APRIL 1, 2021– Deadline for applicant’s registration for Conference


BUILT PROJECTS-The project must have been substantially completed and occupied within the last ten years. Submissions of long-range projects that are in progress must clearly distinguish between what has been completed and what is planned. The second display board for this category is to include ONLY annotated photographs of the completed project (no computer renderings!). Public spaces should be shown both fully occupied (festivals) and during quieter periods (weekday).

PROPOSED PROJECTS- The project must have been commissioned by a “real” client with intention to build or realize the project- a city or town, institution, agency, authority, business or individual.

Full contact information for the client (name, organization, email, address, phone, website) must be included with the submission for verification, for both “BUILT” and “PROPOSED” submissions.

ALL PROJECTS- application form and $245 entry fee, plus the following in electronic format (not to exceed 6MB):

a. A one-page cover sheet with the firm/entity/individual name, team members and associated players, project name/location as listed on boards, client name/location, project timeline dates (begin design, begin construction, complete construction if “BUILT”, etc.). This sheet will be exhibited along with the exhibit materials listed below if the project is selected for an award or for exhibition.

b. A one-page maximum written description of the project that includes the project intent and design criteria, plus relevant statistics and numerical information (density, FAR, project size and costs, etc.), and any other relevant information. DO NOT IDENTIFY THE SUBMITTING FIRM, ENTITY OR INDIVIDUAL ON THIS SHEET! INCLUDE ONLY THE PROJECT NAME/LOCATION AS THE TITLE.                                                                                                    

c. A vertically-oriented high-definition PDF Electronic Exhibit panel, identified ONLY BY THE PROJECT NAME/LOCATION and the title “EXHIBIT ONE”. NO FIRM, ENTITY OR INDIVIDUAL NAME/IDENTIFIER. This panel should illustrate the project concept, context, and the urban design principles reflected in the design. The extent and intent of changes to the existing environment must be made very clear on this first panel. Drawings, photographs and other graphic/notational communication should be designed to present these issues clearly to the jury, and to the attendees at the IMCL Conference.

d. A vertically-oriented, high-definition PDF Electronic Exhibit panel, identified ONLY BY THE PROJECT NAME/LOCATION and the title “EXHIBIT TWO”. NO FIRM, ENTITY OR INDIVIDUAL NAME/IDENTIFIER. This panel should clearly, and as completely as possible, illustrate the actual (in the case of a “BUILT PROJECT”) or envisioned (in the case of a “PROPOSED PROJECT”) result of the design effort. Before and after photographs (or renderings in the case of a “PROPOSED PROJECT”) are acceptable, but this panel must clearly present the physical design and character of the design intervention.

e. Five individual photos/illustrations that best represent the project, suitable for PPT presentation.


IMCL reserves the right to give no awards or mentions in any or all categories, should this be the decision of the jury. The decision of the jury is final.

Honor Award- no more than one in each category (“BUILT” and “PROPOSED”) for a maximum of two

Merit Award- no more than three in each category (“BUILT” and “PROPOSED”) for a maximum of six

Selected for Exhibition- as evaluated by the jury. No limit.