National Urban Design Awards | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

National Urban Design Awards

Urban design plays an important role in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in Canadian communities.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Canadian Institute of Planners, and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects—in cooperation with Canadian municipalities—work closely to promote awareness of that role. In 2006, the three organizations established the National Urban Design Awards program to recognize individuals, organizations, firms, and projects in Canada that have contributed to the quality of life and the sustainability of Canadian communities.

The National Urban Design Awards program encourages the submission of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects involving planners, landscape architects, architects and/or other disciplines. The program recognizes the importance and impact of teams in creating places that enhance the quality of life in Canadian communities.


Up to 12 projects may be awarded a National Urban Design Award in any of the following categories:

                           Urban Design Plans                     Urban Fragments

                           Urban Architecture                      Community Initiatives Award

                           Civic Design Projects                    Student Projects


The next call for submissions will take place in the Fall of 2025.

Mark your calendars and check back closer to the date for more information. 


This Year's Recipients

2024 Jury

Past Recipients

Terms of Reference - Updated September 2023

National Urban Design Awards 2022 Recipient Virtual Roundtable Event recording



1. Urban Design Plans

This category is for a plan or study of a significant area that provides a development or redevelopment strategy for inspired urban transformation in the mid- to long-term. Urban design studies, master plans, redevelopment strategies, and community plans with the potential for significant impact on the community’s sustainability or development are eligible in this category.

2. Urban Architecture

This category is for a building, renovated building, or group of buildings of high architectural standard which achieves urban design excellence through its relationship with its immediate surroundings through its siting, massing, pedestrian amenities, environmental and social sustainability, and other contributions to the community.

This category is open to teams led by a registered architect.

3. Civic Design Projects

This category is for civic improvement projects such as a park, public space, civil engineering or environmental infrastructure, street furniture, lighting, and other elements implemented as the result of an urban design plan or initiative.

This category is open to teams led by a registered design professional (architect, engineer, planner, or landscape architect).

4. Urban Fragments

This category is for other forms of built intervention that contribute to the beautification, sustainability, enjoyment, and appreciation of the urban environment. It includes enhancements to buildings, landscapes, or public spaces such as street furniture, lighting elements, interpretation media, memorials, public art, or other forms of intervention. Projects may be of a permanent or temporary nature.

5. Community Initiatives Award

This category is for any size of built project that was initiated or implemented by a community-based organization, and that has enhanced the public realm. Examples may include streetscaping, public art, commemorative or interpretive installations, and environmental initiatives.

In addition to the evaluation criteria listed above, for submissions in this category, the jurors will also consider community involvement, ie. demonstration of how the community-at-large was involved and supported the improvements.

6. Student Projects

Submissions may be made directly from individual students or groups of students enrolled in an accredited program in architecture, landscape architecture, and/or planning in the past two years. Such students and student groups may also be nominated by their schools to submit. Students and schools may forward submissions from studio or thesis projects with an emphasis on urban design.

The entry fee is waived for Student Projects.


2024 Jury


Martin Brière, OAQ, MIRAC

A senior partner of BGLA, Martin Brière has 31 years of experience in private practice, 26 of which were as a freelance architect in Montreal. His specialized background in architecture (Université Laval, 1992) and urban studies (Paris-Belleville, 1996) laid the foundation for his architectural and urban practice, and reflects his active and ongoing concern for the built environment and its context. 

At BGLA, Mr. Brière acts as principal, project manager, and lead designer on many of the firm's key projects. In recent years, a number of major institutional projects in the education, culture, and health sectors have benefited from his recognized expertise in urban design. The most significant of these include the Growing Up Healthy / Grandir en santé project at the CHU Ste. Justine hospital, the university pavilions at UQAT (Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue) and the greenhouses at McGill University, the new pavilions on the two campuses of Collège Charles-Lemoyne, Espace Dallaire in Gatineau, and the master plan for Montreal’s Triangle sector. 



Audrey Farias, a skilled Project Manager at the City of Markham, has extensive experience in urban design, landscape architecture, planning, and project management both in public and private sectors. She served as a Jury member for prestigious awards, including the National Urban Design Awards in 2022 and Plan Canada Awards from 2014 to 2018, demonstrating her commitment to sustainability and design excellence. Her dedication extends to volunteering on OPPI's Professional Standards and Registration Committee from 2017 to 2022. Audrey's impactful career includes leading the City of Vaughan's 2012 Urban Design Awards and managing complex projects globally and in Canada. Her passion for sustainable, beautifully designed communities continues to shape urban planning. 



Principal, Global Practice Group Director | Placemaking 

Trevor is a leading urban planner, urbanist and registered landscape architect with more than 35 years of experience in complex, multi-disciplinary design projects conducted in Canada, United States, Europe, The Middle East, South America, and Asia.  

Trevor moved to southern Ontario in 1982, with an undergraduate degree in Geography, to obtain a Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Guelph in 1985. He became a full member of the OALA and the CSLA in 1989 and is a member of the AALA, the APALA and the ASLA and was made a Fellow in the CSLA. He is currently the Global Practice Group Director of Placemaking at Arcadis, a Global practice based in Amsterdam. 


Professional Advisor: 

Fiona Boey, OAA, MRAIC   

Fiona Boey is a licensed architect in Ontario and has been the Technical Director with the Laboratories Canada program at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) in Ottawa, Ontario since June 2023.Before her move to PSPC, Fiona held the position of Deputy Chief Architect at National Defence. Fiona also worked for over 10 years in the private sector, with various architecture firms based in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.  

As an advocate of community support within the profession, she served as Chair of the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects (ORSA) from 2007 to 2010. Currently, Fiona serves as the Professional Advisor to the RAIC Honours and Awards Committee, after completing a three-year term as a committee member. 

Fiona moved from Calgary, Alberta to Ottawa to attend Carleton University, where she received her architecture degree in 1999. She currently resides in Gatineau, Quebec.


Past recipients photos, from left to right: Mechanized River Valley Access, 18 Shades of Gay, The Warming Huts, Casey House, Intervention plan for the comfort and safety of pedestrians and cyclists in Old Québec City (Vieux-Québec), Corridor de biodiversité, Arrondissement de Saint-Laurent, Montréal