Architecture Graduate Students Win Grand Prize for Design Excellence

Author: Rosalyn Wells

Chicago Midway Plaisance Master Plan Crop

A pair of graduate students in the School of Architecture have won the 2019 Student Grand Prize in the annual Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) Charter Awards.  Marie Acalin and Roger Foreman’s award-winning project, “Urbanizing Chicago’s Midway Plaisance,” was completed in Professor Philip Bess’s graduate urban design studio. 


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A grand urbane vision informed by Rome, Paris, Washington DC, and Chicago’s own Daniel Burnham, the winning design engages pressing issues of land use, race and class mistrust, neighborhood gentrification, and equal justice under the law, by proposing traditional Chicago building types, form-based-zoning, incremental development, and land-value-taxation as related elements of a strategy to promote economic revitalization in Woodlawn without neighborhood population displacement.

Chicago Midway Neighborhood 3 Midway Plaisance Looking West

Regarded as the preeminent award for excellence in urban design, the CNU Charter Awards recognize architecture, planning, development, and landscape designs that offer choices for affordable housing, a lively mix of uses, and public space in a wide variety of settings.  The students accepted the award at  a ceremony at the Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky on June 14, during CNU’s annual Congress.

Chicago Midway Looking West To Obama Presidential Center

The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) connects and empowers the professionals, leaders, advocates, and citizens building places where people and businesses can thrive and prosper.