The 12th Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design was awarded earlier this month to Madrid Rio, a new waterfront park in Madrid, designed by a team of three architecture studios: Porras and La Casta, Rubio and Álvarez-Sala, and West 8, led by Ginés Garrido from Burgos&Garrido. The biennial Green Prize was established in 1986, and it ”recognizes projects that make an exemplary contribution to the public realm of a city, improve the quality of life in that context, and demonstrate a humane and worthwhile direction for the design of urban environments.” The nominations for this award are received from world renowned professionals in urban design.

Photography by Jeroen Musch

Photography by Jeroen Musch

“The decision to award Madrid Río the Green Prize in Urban Design was motivated by the jury’s desire to highlight the potential for thoughtfully planned and carefully executed mobility infrastructures to transform a city and its region,” The jury’s chairman Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning at Harvard Graduate School of Design, has declared. “The extent to which the project harnesses the deployment of new infrastructures as an opportunity to repair and regenerate the city through carefully articulated design interventions is particularly valuable within the context of contemporary urbanization globally.”

Photography by Jeroen Musch

Photography by Jeroen Musch

This year’s jurors were Silvia Benedito – Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard GSD; Jerold Kayden – Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GSD; Toshiko Mori – Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture, Harvard GSD; and Mirko Zardini – Director of the Canadian Center for Architecture. The Veronica Rudge Green Prize award decisions are based on the direct interaction of the jurors with the projects that were nominated. They visit each of the locations to “experience finalist projects firsthand”.

Photography by Nicole Jewell

Photography by Nicole Jewell

The Madrid Rio Park is a urban development in the capital of Spain that resulted in more than 120 hectares of public space, with lots of sports areas, such as tennis and basketball courts, soccer fields, fitness areas, a rock climbing center, skate parks, and also green spaces, restaurants, plazas, an urban beach and much more. Eleven new pedestrian bridges were built, alongside 30 km of cycling paths. The project was the result of “surfacing nearly 30 km of tunnels” and it has “strengthened surrounding neighborhoods’ connection to the new amenities and to each other.”

Courtesy of Municipality of Madrid

Courtesy of Municipality of Madrid

The award ceremony will take place on February 2nd, at Harvard Graduate School of Design. The exhibition dedicated to the Madrid Rio project will be opened on January 18th, untill March 6th, 2016.

By Cristina Juc

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