The Fourth European Prize For Urban Public Space

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and the Institut Français d’Architecture


This coming 15 January 2006 marks the start of the period for submission of projects for the Fourth European Prize for Urban Public Space. The prize was created by the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and the Institut Français d’Architecture, and awarded for the first time in 2000. In year two, the Architecture Foundation in London, the Nederlands Architectuurinstituut in Rotterdam and the Architekturzentrum Wien joined this initiative to acknowledge and stimulate work to recover and create public spaces all over the continent.

With the European Prize for urban public space now in its fourth year, the incorporation of a fifth institution, the Museum of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki, highlights the geographical representativeness of the organising bodies and further reinforces the European scope of the award. In addition to the five institutions mentioned, the prize, sponsored by COPCISA, is also backed by the collaboration of a network of referential centres in the field of architecture and urban planning in Europe; The Lighthouse in Glasgow, the Arkitekturmusseet in Stockholm and the Bundesarchitektenkammer in Berlin are some of these centres.

The prize, created with the aim of acknowledging, every two years, the best projects to transform urban spaces in Europe, is awarded both to the architects and to the institution that promotes the project, with a view to creating an incentive for government investment in the remodelling of public spaces to improve life in cities. The international jury comprises the directors of the organising institutions and renowned professionals.

A total of 170 works carried out in 20 European countries were presented in year three. The winners were the remodelling of the environs of Plaza de la Estación in Teruel (Aragon), the work of architects David Chipperfield and Fermín Vásquez, and the landscape restoration of the Vall d’en Joan refuse dump in Begues (Catalonia), by architects Enric Batlle, Joan Roig and Teresa Galí. Four special mentions were also awarded to interventions carried out in Berlin, Kalmar, Copenhagen and Buenavista del Norte. All of these works, along with the best projects entered in the competition, from their beginnings, are available for consultation in the European Archive of urban public space, a selection that, with 250 projects accessible on the Internet, is testimony of the transformation of European public space over the last 25 years.


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 Fourth European Prize for Urban Public Space, which is to be awarded in July 2006 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 fourth 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 2004 and 2005.


In order to enter for the European Prize for Urban Public Space, the projects must be presented for the award by the institution/s that has initiated the intervention, or by its author/s.

Projects of 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 2004 or 2005 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 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 2006 will take place in Barcelona on 5 May 2006.


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 project 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 diploma attesting to the award.

The prize-winning projects and a selection of the interventions that have been presented for the Prize will be included in the European Archive of Urban Public Space. 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 250 projects now accessible on Internet, the Archive offers an itinerary of discovery that covers the transformation of European urban public space over the last 25 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 in July 2006.


In order to present for the European Prize for Urban Public Space, it is necessary to fill out the registration form which may be found at 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 project.

Minimum obligatory documentation required for entering for the Prize:

  • 3 rigid panels in A3 format with all the information that candidates consider necessary to describe the project. The panels (foam board or similar) must include:
  • Maps showing the location and site of the work so as to set it in its context.
  • Ground plans and general sections of the project.
  • Images of the project site before and after the work (if possible photographs from the same vantage point)
  • 10 images of the finished work.
  • Report. A brief description in English of the state of the site before the construction work is done, the desired aims and the features of the finished work, with a maximum length of two A4 pages. The provision of text in any of the panels does not preclude the requirement of presenting this report on paper.
  • Digital back-up of all the aforementioned documentation. CD with texts in word files with images in jpeg files with a definition of 850 pixels. The documents presented for the Prize will not be returned. The candidates 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 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 2006 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 project 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.

Deadline: 15/03/06


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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