Overview: Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award
for Leadership in Urban Design

In 2010, the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors created the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award for Leadership in Urban Design to recognize mayors whose commitment to excellence in urban design reflects the outstanding example set by the award’s namesake.

Mayor Riley was first elected by the residents of Charleston, SC, in 1975 and completed his unprecedented tenth term in office in 2016. Under his leadership, Charleston has developed nationally acclaimed affordable housing and has experienced remarkable revitalization of its waterfront and historic downtown business district.

Mayor Riley was a founding father of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and The United States Conference of Mayors. Established in 1986, the Mayors’ Institute has provided leadership training in city design to more than 900 mayors across America. As a founder and champion of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, Mayor Riley has also helped provide critical urban design support to more than 850 mayors across America. For his efforts, he is widely recognized as one of our nation’s most visionary civic leaders.

Honorees of the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award for Leadership in Urban Design:

2016: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore

2014: Mayor Oscar B. Goodman and Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, Las Vegas

2013: Mayor Mick Cornett, Oklahoma City

2012: Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Philadelphia

2011: Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago


Ron Bogle, CEO and President of AAF; U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran; former Mayor Oscar Goodman; Mayor Carolyn Goodman, and G. Sandy Diehl, CEO and Founder of SD Global Advisors. Featured image courtesy of David Hathcox Photography

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Posted in: Accent on Architecture Gala, Civic Leaders + Government, Design Leadership, Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award, Print, Sustainability
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