Saturday, May 20, 2006

Two Urban Land Institute awards go to Forest City projects

Two subsidiaries of Forest City Enterprises, the parent company of Forest City Ratner, are among the ten winners of the Urban Land Institute's (ULI) Awards for Excellence: The Americas competition, which is the land use industry’s most prestigious award.

According to ULI's press release, those honored include:
Stapleton District 1, Denver, Colorado (Forest City Stapleton, Inc.) The first phase (489 acres) of this 4,700-acre master-planned community contains four schools, 2,100 residential units, 100 acres of parks and open space and 320,000 square feet of commercial space. Upon buildout, the former airport will include 12,000 homes.
Victoria Gardens, Rancho Cucamonga, California (Forest City Commercial Development; Lewis Group of Companies) This 175-acre project provides a new downtown district for a community that had grown up without one, and is notable for its large-scale introduction of an authentic urban center by a private-sector developer.


Looking at the broader picture

The awards recognize "the full development process of a project, not just its architecture or design." The criteria: financial viability, the resourceful use of land, design, relevance to contemporary issues, and sensitivity to the community and environment.

Indeed, one member of the jury was planner and architect Barbara Faga, of the consultancy EDAW, who at a conference last month emphasized the importance of a public process throughout the life cycle of the project.

Clearly, Forest City Enterprises knows how to do the right thing. But will Forest City Ratner ever get an award praising its sensitivity to the community in Brooklyn?

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