Madrid Río wins Harvard’s 2015 Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

11/2015 | Newsletter | West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture

On the 9th of November, 2015 The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) announced that the 12th Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design has been awarded to Madrid Río. A new linear park in the heart of Madrid designed by Burgos & GarridoPorras & La Casta, Rubio & Álvarez-Sala, and West 8

The City of Madrid reclaimed the banks of the Manzanares River by depressing a large segment of the inner ring road, the M-30. The result of surfacing nearly 30 kilometers of tunnels is the creation of 120 hectares of new public space, which encompasses dozens of sports areas (tennis and basketball courts, soccer fields, fitness areas, rock climbing center, skate park), greenswards, plazas, cafés and restaurants, an orchard, an urban beach, children’s play areas, plus 30 kilometers of cycling paths, and 11 new footbridges.

The project also prompted the restoration of five historic dams and two historic bridges (the Puente de Segovia and Puente de Toledo), as well as the refurbishment of highway bridges and the recuperation of the areas surrounding these infrastructural works. With these new river crossings and the incorporation of existing historic features into the new park plan, Madrid Río has strengthened surrounding neighborhoods’ connection to the new amenities and to each other.

The design won an international competition in 2005, and construction was phased so that the public could enjoy it starting in 2011; the park was fully completed earlier this year. “The decision to award Madrid Río the Green Prize in Urban Design was motivated by the jury’s desire to highlight the potential for thoughtfully planned and carefully executed mobility infrastructures to transform a city and its region,” commented Jury Chair Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning at Harvard GSD. “The extent to which the project harnesses the deployment of new infrastructures as an opportunity to repair and regenerate the city through carefully articulated design interventions is particularly valuable within the context of contemporary urbanization globally.”

Mehrotra has directed the prize since 2011. Other 2015 jury members included Silvia Benedito, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard GSD; Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard GSD; Toshiko Mori, Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture, Harvard GSD; and Mirko Zardini, Director of the Canadian Center for Architecture.

The Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design is the foremost award recognizing achievement in this field. It is unique among international urban design award programs in that its jury members travel to experience finalist projects firsthand. Awarded biennially, the prize recognizes exemplary urban design projects realized anywhere in the world in the past 10 years, with the understanding that such projects often require many years before they are able to demonstrate impacts. The Borneo Sporenburg Residential Waterfront in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by Adriaan Geuze/West 8 also received the award in 2002.

An exhibition on the winning project will be on view at the GSD’s Gund Hall gallery from January 18 to March 6, 2016. The awards ceremony will be held at the Harvard GSD on February 2. 

To read the official release click here

more information: Madrid Río wins Harvard’s 2015 Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

  • West 8 Selected to realize Moulon Park and Carré des Sciences, Paris-Saclay

    West 8 working together with Grontmij, Gilles Sensini, Les éclaireurs and Cuesta has been awarded the commission for the design and realization of Park Moulon and Carré des Sciences, a four hectare public space project that is part of the development of the Paris-Saclay urban campus. read more

  • The Depoldering of Noordwaard is Complete

    On October 12th, Noordwaard was officially opened. Since 2010, the Rijkswaterstaat has restructured the 4.450 ha polder to return it to nature and allow space for the safe discharge of high water levels. West 8 and IPV Delft have designed 33 bridges and 12 water pumping stations in this polder landscape which offer new opportunities for recreation. read more

  • Watch how West 8 Re-engineered an Island to create The Governors Island Hills

    On Governor’s Island a truly unique public space will bring nature back to a former military base located in the center of the New York Harbor. Moreover, the project is also engineered to withstand the catastrophic storms that climate change will bring. Gizmodo talks to West 8 New York Principal, Jamie Maslyn Larson about Phase 2 of Governors Island, The Hills. read more

  • New theatre for Den Helder

    On October 16th, Den Helder's 'De Kampanje' theatre reopened at the former naval yard 'Willemsoord'. Van Dongen - Koschuch Architects and Planners are responsible for the transformation of the maritime buildings into a vibrant cultural centre, as part of the ongoing revitalization of the Den Helder city centre outlined in West 8's masterplan. read more

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture, Schiehaven 13M, 3024 EC Rotterdam, The Netherlands. tel. +31 (0) 10 485 5801, fax. +31 (0) 10 485 6323, public relations:, general enquiries:

The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer.

Please consider the environment before you print this message.