Given the reductionism and programmatic simplicity of some of the large-scale urban projects implemented in Europe in recent years, and the risks of homogenisation and impoverishment of the urban landscape, we believe that promoting public space and making known the diversity of functions it can embrace and its intense, rich and plural character, is an ideal way of stimulating urban projects that aim to reinvent and enhance the structural role that public space has always played in European cities.

The European Prize for Urban Public Space is a biennial competition that aims to highlight the importance of public space as a catalyst of urban life, and to recognise and foster investment by public administrations in its creation, conservation and improvement, while also understanding the state of public space as a clear indicator of the civic and collective health of our cities.


The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, the Institut Français d’Architecture (Paris), The Architecture Foundation (London), the Nederlands Architectuurinstituut (Rotterdam), the Architekturzentrum Wien (Vienna) and the Museum of Finnish Architecture (Helsinki) have announced the Fifth European Prize for Urban Public Space, which is to be awarded in July 2008 in Barcelona. The first European Prize for Urban Public Space was offered in 2000 and since then it has been awarded on a two-yearly basis with the aim of recognising and promoting activities for the recovery of areas of social cohesion in European cities through transforming and improving public space.

The fifth award of the Prize is now announced in keeping with the aim of highlighting and making known the major works of creating and remodelling public spaces that have been completed in Europe between 2006 and 2007.


In order to enter for the European Prize for Urban Public Space, the works must be presented for the award by the institution/s that has initiated the intervention, or by its author/s. Works or interventions in newly created or remodelled urban spaces that present for the Prize must be public property or offer free access to the public. The Prize covers all countries that form part of the continent of Europe, including islands.

If it is desired to present interventions that aim to create areas within the city network, it must be born in mind that, apart from general considerations about the effect as a whole, the results achieved within these public spaces will be the ones specifically evaluated.

Since some urban interventions involve long periods of work before their completion, projects that have not been fully completed in 2006 or 2007 may also present for the Prize if enough phases have been finished so as to enable assessment of the urban repercussions of the intervention as a whole. In order to present for the Prize, the required documentation as specified in these rules must be submitted before the established deadline.


The criteria that will govern selection of the projects that are presented for the Prize will not be exclusively related with the quality of the work from a strictly architectural point of view. The jury will also consider other aspects that enable evaluation of the urban transformation that has taken place in the specific setting.

  • Appropriateness of interventions to the functions required of public space, from those directly linked with citizens’ occupation of a space, through to those pertaining to the collective imaginary.
  • Capacity of the interventions to favour a reduction of social fractures within the city and the elimination of physical and/or symbolic barriers in order to enhance quality of life for the inhabitants.
  • Contribution of the projects in the domain of environmental improvement, in promoting public transport and innovation in the treatment of public installations, energy resources and urban waste.
  • The degree of citizen participation and engagement in the conception, carrying out and subsequent maintenance of the space. Degree of acceptance by users.
  • Transversal character of the planning concepts and/or objectives that have guided the Project (sociology, demography, history, architecture, economy, engineering, landscaping, anthropology, etc.).


The jury that will decide the awarding of the Prize will be formed by a president and five members who have been proposed by the institutions that are jointly offering it. The jury will only take into account those projects that comply with all the conditions of participation and the Prize can also be declared null and void. Secretariat functions will be performed by the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, which will designate the person who is to assist the jury and prepare the minutes of the sessions during the selection process of the Prize winners. The working sessions and deliberations of the international jury for the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2008 will take place in Barcelona on 29 April 2008.


The European Prize for Urban Public Space is honorary by nature and will be jointly awarded to the sponsoring institution that has decided to carry out the work and to the author or authors of the work. The winners will receive a commemorative plaque that is to be installed in the public space that has been awarded the Prize. Prize-winners will also receive a diploma attesting to the award.

The archive contains a selection of the best interventions presented for the Prize since it was first awarded, and was created with the aim of extending the positive repercussions of good practices for the urban spaces concerned by publicising them in this way.

With 350 works now published and accessible on the Internet, the Archive offers an itinerary of discovery that covers the transformation of European urban public space over the last 10 years. The decision of the international jury for the Prize will be conveyed to the winners and made known to the public at a prize-giving ceremony which is to be held in Barcelona on 13 June 2008.


In order to present for the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2008, it is necessary to fill out the online registration form. This should be returned by Internet. The documentation detailed below must be delivered to the CCCB along with this form duly signed by the person or persons presenting the work.

Minimum obligatory documentation required for entering for the Prize:

  • Minimum of 3 rigid panels in DIN A3 format with all the graphic and textual information that candidates consider necessary to describe the work. The panels (foam board or similar) must include:
    • Maps showing the location and placement of the work inside its urban context.
    • Ground plans of the work. This includes maps, sections, elevations, constructive details, diagrams and/or sketches that explain the project.
    • Photographs of the intervention site before and after the work (and if possible, from the same vantage point).
    • 10 images of the finished work. These images should reflect how citizens would use the new space.
  • Descriptive report, written in English, of approximately 4,500 characters in length and in DIN A4 format. The provision of text in any of the panels does not preclude the requirement of presenting this report on paper. It must include the following four chapters:
  • Back-up CD containing all the aforementioned documentation in digital format.
    • The DIN A3 panels in PDF format and a minimum resolution of 300 DPI.
    • The photographs and maps in separate archives in JPG format and with a minimum resolution of 900 pixels on its longest side.
    • The DIN A4 descriptive report in PDF format.

The documents delivered for the Prize will not be returned to the participants, who will not receive any fees for rights of public communication or exploitation of the material selected and will also bear the costs of claims or costs pertaining to any dispute over rights of intellectual property that might eventually derive from the reproduction or exploitation by the organisers of the projects that are presented. Presenting for the Prize means acceptance of all the conditions specified in these rules.


After sending the completed free-of-charge entry form through the website, it must then be enclosed duly signed with the rest of the documentation specified above and delivered to the CCCB general registry for inclusion in the Records between 15 January and 15 March 2008 on any weekday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Documentation must be delivered properly protected in a packet that clearly indicates the name of the project that has been inscribed in the entry form and on the delivered panels, along with the name of the city where the project is located.

When the documentation is sent by post or by messenger, it must be delivered within the admission period for the projects. Hence the date of dispatch must be certified at the post office or by the messenger service, and the CCCB is to be notified of the dispatch of the package at on the same day.


15 January 2008
Opening of period for presenting projects

15 March 2008
End of period for presenting projects

29 April 2008
Meeting of the International Jury of the Prize

13 June 2008
Award of the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2008

Deadline: 15/03/08

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)
Montalegre, 5
E-08001 Barcelona
phone: +34.93.306.41.00
fax: +34.93.306.41.01

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