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Excellence on the Waterfront Awards

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2013 Honor Awards Program 


Award Guidelines:

Projects  Plans  Student  Clearwater




Click here to see the 2013 Awards Presentation


Check out this and previous year award winners.  Click on booklet covers to view.



These publications are available for purchase.  Click on Books.

    The Waterfront Center’s annual awards program is a chance for cities, design firms and developers, as well as citizens groups and students, to receive recognition for their waterfront achievements. 

    What distinguishes the Center’s awards is that the winners are selected by an interdisciplinary jury. Participants range from public artists to engineers to civic leaders and designers.
The 26th interdisciplinary jury will be chaired by Eric Burchill, vice president planning and development, jury chair Southwest Properties, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

    The entry requirements are simple: 20 illustrations and a two-page narrative, with any additional material desired contained in a three-ring binder. Entries must be postmarked by June 28, 2013.

Awards are made in four categories: 
• projects (must be substantially completed), 
• comprehensive plans, 
• grassroots citizen efforts (called the Clearwater Award), 
• students.
    Entry form and judging criteria are listed above.  The winners are first announced at the Center’s annual conference in Davenport, Iowa. A handsome four-color booklet will illustrate and describe the 2013 winners. The past nine year’s booklets appear below and are available for purchase through the Center. 

    The awards program was begun in 1987 with a grant from the National Endowment for the arts. With the 2013 program, there will have been 26 years of recognition of top urban waterfront work from around the world, totaling approximately 350  activities. The Center is seeking funding to enable it to put all of the winners on its Web site. Each entry will be illustrated, described and current contact information provided. The work will be accessible by award year, type of project and geography. The winners from 2004 to 2012 are currently on the Web site, with links offered to entrants.


Judging Criteria for all entries

Sensitivity of  the design to water. Document how the entry makes use of the waterfront and the water resource, how  it provides for active public enjoyment of the waterfront and, where possible, provides for physical and visual access  to and along the waterfront.

Quality and harmony of design. Show how the project/plan/citizen effort/student work fits into the surroundings, be  they natural or man-made, and incorporates and celebrates the unique historic and cultural features of the  community, particularly relating to the waterfront. The human scale of the project will also be a consideration.

Civic contribution. Relate how the project has helped the economy of the community, boosted civic pride or  otherwise has had a positive affect on the area. Show that the work is sustainable and how it is economically viable over the long run. 

Environmental. Show how environmental values are stressed. This aspect of a project or plan has been very important to recent juries. 

Enrichment. Show how the project/plan contributes to the overall cultural richness of the community. Where  applicable, relate how the entry provides interpretive signs, displays or other facilities to explain an area’s waterfront heritage and natural values. 

Difficulty. Describe the obstacles -- physical, financial or procedural -- that had to overcome to enable the project to succeed.


Click here to see the 2010 Awards Presentation

The 24th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program

2010 Jury


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