2021 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards Program

Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Virtual Meeting
United States

Founded in 2006 in memory of Philadelphia’s iconic 20th-century city planner, Edmund N. Bacon [1910-2005], this annual program honors both professionals and students whose work epitomize excellence in urban design. Each year, a professional who has made significant contributions to the field of urban planning - through conviction of vision, effective communication, and commitment to improving their community - is selected to receive the Edmund N. Bacon Award. In addition, the winners of an international urban design competition for university students, envisioning a better Philadelphia and taking place the preceding fall, are honored with an Edmund N. Bacon Student Award.

This year's honoree, Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, LFAPA, Hon AIA, is a social psychiatrist and professor of urban policy and health at The New School. Selected as this year's recipient for her focus on environmental justice, her work calling attention to the impact of industrial development and its associated effects, particularly on poor and minority communities, matches the theme of this year’s student competition: reimagining the PES refinery site in a way that benefits all Philadelphians, but especially the surrounding neighborhoods, who have lived with the effects of the site for decades.

Since 1986, Dr. Fullilove has conducted research on AIDS and other epidemics of poor communities, with a special interest in the relationship between the collapse of communities and decline in health. From her research, she has published numerous articles, book chapters, and monographs. She has also written: The House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place, Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It, and Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities. A third edition of Homeboy Came to Orange: A Story of People's Power, which she helped her father, Ernest Thompson, write, was released in May 2018 by New Village Press. She is co-author, with Hannah L. F. Cooper, of From Enforcers to Guardians: A public health primer on ending police violence, issued by Johns Hopkins University Press in January 2020. Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All,\ was released by New Village Press in September 2020.

In addition to honoring a professional, this event also highlights the winning student projects submitted for the Urban Design Awards Student Competition. This year's competition asks students to assess the 1300-acre Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) Refinery site located along the Schuylkill River in southwest Philadelphia. Given the size of the tract (equivalent to Center City Philadelphia) and its proximity to Center City Philadelphia, students should develop a plan that combines the highest and best possible uses of the land while considering the myriad real-world issues facing any proposal to redevelop the site. The PES site’s latest trouble came in the form of an explosion In June of 2019, months after the company filed for bankruptcy. In February 2020, the property went under an Agreement of Sale with Hilco, a developer of multi-use light industrial facilities. Hilco’s plans for the site are still unknown, though the company has not ruled out the continuation of refinery-related business.

This year's esteemed jury includes:

Majora Carter, Principal, Majora Carter Group 

Thomas Dalfo, Senior Vice President, Real Estate Service, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation

Jose Alminana, PLA, FASLA, SITES AP, LEED AP, Principal, Andropogon

Alan Greenberger, FAIA, Department Head, Architecture Design & Urbanism, Drexel University

Matthew Lister, Managing Director/Partner, Gehl



Download the sponsorship packet or contact Jermaine Jenkins at [email protected] for more information.

Arts and Culture
Graphic Arts/Design
Global Region: 
American (United States)