The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) selected Parasite Skatepark, a project of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design at the Tulane School of Architecture, as one of five finalists for its 2019 Gold and Silver medal prizes.
Parasite Skatepark is New Orleans' first official skatepark. Previously, the city had no official skateparks and few places for kids to exercise outside of team sports leagues. With that in mind, a group of skaters got together and started a Do-It-Yourself skatepark. Small Center faculty and architecture students provided technical assistance to the group, which ultimately evolved into into the nonprofit Transitional Spaces. Through time, strategic partnerships, and a series of state and local approvals, the grassroots public park officially opened in 2015.
“The range of issues addressed in this year’s submissions reflect the evolution of our understanding of placemaking in cities,” said RBA founder Simeon Bruner in a press release. “The five finalists illustrate the shifting role of design in response to the imperatives of social inclusivity and environmental resilience.”
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, RBA is a biennial design award recognizing transformative places that contribute to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of American cities. Seventy-eight projects in 27 states have been honored since its founding. The Gold Medalist will receive $50,000 and four Silver Medalists will each receive $10,000 to enhance their projects.
RBA entries comprise completed projects across the contiguous United States. Finalists and medalists are chosen by a nationwide committee of urban experts through an in-depth evaluation process involving input from the award application, site visits, interviews with project participants and community members, and committee discussions.
For more information, read the RBA blog post.