On Friday May 5, The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) announced the sixteen winners of its annual Charter Awards, given for excellence in architectural, landscape, urban, and regional design that helps build more equitable, sustainable, connected, healthy, and prosperous communities.
Among the winners was Dover Kohl & Partners for Plan NoBe, a multifaceted approach to the North Beach neighborhood’s needs for historic preservation, pedestrian-oriented design, preservation of workforce housing, and answers to rising sea levels.
In late 2016, as a direct result of the 1,100-acre plan, more than 300 historic structures— including stellar examples of the “Miami Modern” style built between 1930 and 1960—were protected through the creation of three historic districts. More than 5,000 units of workforce housing, threatened with demolition, were also saved as part of that effort. The plan also addressed public space and walkability, which had been a challenge in the community.
Plan NoBe also sets the stage for higher construction standards to withstand sea-level rise—while strengthening defenses like sea walls, mangrove islands, and barrier beaches.
One key to success of the plan was strong public engagement. “Having worked in government for over 25 years, it was incredible to witness the level of public involvement in the Plan NoBe effort,” says Jeffrey Orvis, Miami Beach Director of Economic Development.
“The Master Plan is a visionary and an aspirational statement,” says Philip Levine, Mayor of Miami Beach. “I am excited for this incredible vision.”
CNU recognized a total of sixteen professional and student design projects across the United States and in Mexico, Spain, and South Africa. The awards were announced at a ceremony culminating CNU’s annual Congress, a 4-day event that brings together as many as 2,000 people to discuss, debate, engage, and advance the principals of New Urbanism.
Regarded as the preeminent award for excellence in urban design, the CNU Charter Awards have honored a select number of winners and honorable mentions since 2002.