2021 Excellence on
the Waterfront Awards Program
In 1987 the
Waterfront Center began the “Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program,”
initiated with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts
Program and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, to recognize
top-quality planning, design, and development work from around the world. Entries are for
comprehensive plans, built projects and student work. The Center also
recognizes grassroot citizen’s efforts through a Clearwater Award named for
the non-profit group of that name founded by Pete Seeger working to clean up the Hudson River in New
the years the stature of this awards program has grown internationally. In
2012 seven of the ten awards came from outside the U.S., including Malta, New
Zealand and Singapore. The Waterfront Center is known as an independent
institution and the judgments rendered by the awards juries are seen as
unbiased recognition based on merit. Honor awards are increasingly
sought after and prized. The initial announcement of each year’s awards
comes during the Center’s annual conference on waterfront planning,
development and culture.
start of the program the Waterfront Center has presented awards 0ver 400 recipients. Since 2004, popular, 20-page illustrated booklets have been
prepared each year to publicize the winning projects, and more recently the
winners have been posted on the Internet, see below.
For those unfamiliar with the program such as the judging criteria and entry
requirements see the section below to get an idea of what is involved in
submitting your project or plan.
Submission Deadline July 15
We will grant extensions to those who need more time to complete
their photography should sites be closed due to the virus.
However, we would like to have people fill out the forms and
send what info they have like the two page summary in order that
we can put together the data base of names, project and other
information for out files and the jurors. Deadline July 15,
2121. All text, images, and supporting materials should be
digital. The Waterfront Center can accept e-mail, DropBox, CD,
or flash drive transport media.
All or parts of the deliberations will be done virtually. Some
jurors may be able to be on hand but others may not. Winners
will be notified before Labor Day. While we will not be having
the conference in Detroit in September 2121, we plan to have a
virtual ceremony in September to let everyone know who the
winners are and maybe skype or zoom short presentations.
Details to be worked out. The awards booklet we, with the help
of Chris Carlson and Steve Durrant, have put out since 2004,
will be published in the fall of 2121. See examples of previous
Jury, Criteria and Application Forms
An interdisciplinary jury of
professional planners, designers, city officials, and community, business and
development representatives determines the award winners using the following
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.
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 and the importance of sound scientific
underpinnings have 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.
Degree of difficulty.
Describe how obstacles of various types have been overcome, be they natural,
political/jurisdictional, economic or permitting.
*If PDF does not open try
Awards Search Engine
The Waterfront Center has loaded
information about almost all the awards granted by the Waterfront Center since 1987
into a searchable database linked to our webpage, see more detail
The page to enter queries can be found
Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Search Engine Movie
Check out this and previous year award winners.
on booklet covers to view.
These publications are available for
purchase. Click on Books.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ©
2007 The Waterfront Center
Content and photographs on this site may not be reproduced without express
permission from The Waterfront Center.