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European Prize for Urban Public Space 2018 

One of Europe’s great contributions to the world has unquestionably been its particular way of understanding and experiencing urban public space. For millennia, the Old Continent has been producing cities on a human scale, long-lived but always dynamic, and tending to cultural diversity and civic awareness among their inhabitants. Public space is a physical form laden with non-material political values and potent social, economic and historical meaning.

Given the challenges presently being faced by an increasingly urbanised world, defending the European model of the city, far from being a mere exercise in nostalgia, is now more appropriate than ever. When urban sprawl is expanding with unprecedented momentum, when climate change is in good measure a product of the resultant urban mobility, and when the social fractures in cities are more and more evident, public space continues to be the best terrain from which to deal with the main problems arising from the urban phenomenon.


The European prize for Urban Public Space is a biennial, honorific competition which recognises the creation, recovery and improvement of public spaces whose condition is understood as a clear indicator of the democratic health of our cities. With this new award, the Prize—now consolidated as a privileged observatory of good practice in projects that testify to the prolific construction of public spaces around Europe—will be presented for the tenth time.

The Prize upholds an open, compact city of universal access, guaranteeing harmonious coexistence of citizens, mixed uses, sustainable mobility, preserving the historical memory of places, and favouring the participation of citizens in the design of its shared spaces.


Seven European institutions are the organisers of the tenth award of the Prize.
The Prize is honorific and is awarded jointly to the authors and promoters of the projects selected. Prize-winning projects receive a commemorative plaque and those chosen for a Special Mention receive a diploma. Prize-winning works, those receiving a Special Mention and finalists will be published in the Prize Archive and will also be shown in a possible travelling exhibition featuring the 2018 Prize.


The Jury for the 2018 award will consist of the following members:

Olga Tarrasó, representing the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB)


Peter Cachola Schmal, director of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM)
Matevž Čelik, director of the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO)
Angelika Fitz, director of the Architekturzentrum Wien (Az W)
Hans Ibelings, historian and architecture critic (Amsterdam/Montreal)
Juulia Kauste, director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture (MFA)
Ewa P. Porębska, architect and architecture critic (Warsaw)
Francis Rambert, director of La Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (Cité)
Ellis Woodman, director of The Architecture Foundation (AF)

David Bravo, representing the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB)

The Jury will consider only those interventions that have complied with the terms and conditions of participation stipulated in these Rules and, if deemed appropriate, can declare the award null and void. The Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) will act as the Secretariat and nominates the secretary who will assist the Jury members and keep the minutes of the sessions in which they vote on the award-winning works.


Works creating, recovering and improving public space carried out in the geographic area of the Council of Europe in 2016 and 2017 may be presented for the Prize by their authors or by the promoter entities. Since some urban public space projects require a lengthy period of time to be completed, if the work is not totally finalised in 2016 and 2017, it can still be presented for the Prize if it has completed sufficient phases for assessment to be made of the urban impact of the project as a whole.


The criteria taken into account when selecting the award-winners from among the works presented for the Prize are not based solely on the quality of the work from a strictly architectural standpoint. The Jury also takes into account other aspects which allow evaluation of the impact of the urban transformation in the specific context and with regard to community existence:
  • The explicitly urban nature of the intervention. The size of the city or town does not represent a limit although priority will be given to large or medium-sized cities and towns or centres with a more general urban significance.
  • Public ownership and/or clearly public vocation of the project.
  • The appropriateness of the intervention for the functions required of public space, from those directly linked to appropriation of the new space by citizens to those related with the collective imaginary and preservation of the historical memory of places.
  • The capacity of works to diminish segregation and the social and cultural inequalities present in the urban setting, elimination of physical and/or symbolic barriers, and to improve quality of life for people in general.
  • The capacity of works to favour mixed uses and populations in the city and to prevent the formation of ghettoes and single-function spaces.
  • Contribution in the domain of environmental improvement, sustainable mobility and fostering the use of public transport, innovation in the treatment of shared installations, energy resources, and effective waste disposal.
  • The effect of the project on the outskirts of the city or town and its capacity for encouraging a harmonious relationship with the peripheral areas and adjoining natural settings.
  • The capacity of the work to foster the establishment of businesses and economic regeneration in the framework of the post-industrial city.
  • Citizen participation and involvement in the conception, planning, producing and/or eventual maintenance of the space. Degree of acceptance of the work by users.
  • Transversal nature of planning and/or the goals set for the intervention, with teams from the domain of architecture, urban planning, engineering, landscaping, sociology, economics, anthropology, history, as well as the domain of contemporary art.


The documentation necessary for presenting for the Prize is:

Physical documentation:

Three rigid panels (in foam board or similar material) in DIN A3 format and horizontal orientation. They must contain the following information about the work:
  • Map (or photomap) showing the location of the work within its urban context (to scale).
  • A photograph of the site before and another after the intervention, preferably from the same vantage point.
  • Photographs of the finished work. Images showing citizen use of the new space will be positively valued.
  • Textual explanations in English where deemed necessary.

Digital documentation:

In the process of online registration, the following digital documentation will be required:
  • Presentation of the three DIN A3 panels in PDF format (resolution 300 DPI).
  • Technical data of the work.
  • A minimum of 10 JPG or PNG images (digital photographs and maps) with a minimum length of 1,000 pixels on the long edge and a maximum image size of 3 MB.
  • Descriptive report, written in English, approximately 4,800 characters long, in four chapters (previous state, aim of the intervention, description and assessment).
In accordance with the Jury’s decision, the presenter may be contacted and asked to provide high-resolution images and other complementary material.


The entry procedure for the Prize, which is free of charge, consists of two parts:

1. On-line registration

On-line registration at www.publicspace.org will be open as of 15 January 2018. The participant must register on-line by filling in, first, the basic form regarding the submitted work and contact person and, then, providing all the other necessary information. The person entering a work for the Prize can continue to modify and complete the registration form as often as s/he wishes until the registration period closes. If the registration file is not closed by the participant during the registration period, it will be closed automatically on 21 February 2018 at 12 noon. If the person entering for the Prize is presenting more than one work, the on-line registration procedure must be followed for each work separately. Detailed instructions regarding on-line registration may be found in the document Registration Guidelines [PDF].

2. Presentation of the physical material at the CCCB

The following documentation must be submitted to the CCCB:
  • One printed and signed copy of the Rights Sheet (this may be found in the procedure for on-line registration) once the details have been duly completed.
  • The three rigid panels in DIN A3 format and horizontal orientation.

Documentation must be submitted in a well-protected packet through the post, delivered by messenger, or in person at the CCCB before 21 February 2018 at 2 p.m. In the case of packages sent by post or messenger, 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 publicspace@cccb.org on the same day. The package should be sent to the CCCB general registry (open on non-holidays from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), at the following address:

PUBLIC SPACE 2018 / registration code
Registre General
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)
Montalegre, 5
E-08001 Barcelona (Spain)

The documentation presented for the Prize will not be returned to participants.


The status of candidate for the Prize entails the free cession to the CCCB and the other organising institutions of the necessary non-exclusive exploitation rights pertaining to the material presented for the Prize, for all the countries of the world, until the rights enter the public domain with the sole aim of dissemination and promotion, by means of any medium and in any form, in all the events and activities related with the Prize (exhibitions, publications, et cetera), and including its permanent availability for consultation in the Prize Archive.


In accordance with Organic Law 15/1999 of 13 December on protection of data of a personal nature (LOPD), the personal data supplied by candidates for the Prize will be incorporated in the CCCB file “Activitats artístiques, culturals i educatives” (Artistic, Cultural and Educational Activities), for which the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona is responsible and wherein they will be used with the sole aim of administering all matters pertaining to the 2018 European Prize for Urban Public Space. Those concerned may exercise their rights to access, rectify, contest and/or cancel the use of the personal data by contacting the Management of the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (c/. Montalegre, 5 // 08001 – Barcelona. Tel +34 93 306 41 00; publicspace@cccb.org).

Participation in this competition implies acceptance of all the conditions specified in these rules.


Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)
Montalegre, 5
E-08001 Barcelona (Spain)
+34 933 064 100