2020 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards

Student Design Competition Preview

First Prize: $5,000

$25 | per entry at time of submission


  • August 1, 2019: full competition packet released; competition opens
  • November 22, 2019: final date to submit entries
  • February 2020 (date TBD): awards ceremony in Philadelphia



Chelten Avenue is the heart of the Germantown business district in northwest Philadelphia. The most economically diverse neighborhood in the city, Germantown is an African American community which bridges the economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of North Philadelphia to the east with the wealthier Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill neighborhoods to the west.

How might this historic shopping district be designed to better support the local community, improve safety and accessibility, and help reveal all the nearby amenities available to shoppers: from public parks and swimming pools to historic homes and urban farms?

Click here to read more about the challenge and discover resources to help you with your submission.

Sign up to be notified when the full competition brief is available


We’ve heard your feedback – and in order to make this competition better fit more of your personal and academic schedules, we’re expanding the 2020 competition dates. While the competition will still be designed to take 3-4 weeks of effort, the window in which you can work on the challenge will increase from one month to four.

This year’s full competition packet will be released on Thursday, August 1st and entries won’t be due until Friday, November 22nd (though you’re welcome to submit entries earlier!). We hope this means more classrooms will be able to integrate the challenge into their fall curriculum and that motivated students can take the challenge on outside of school, during their summer break. You can always start researching the competition topic now to get ahead of the pack!

ABout the Competition

Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards – Student Design Competition

Founded in 2006 in memory of Philadelphia’s iconic city planner, Edmund N. Bacon [1910-2005], and formerly known as The Better Philadelphia Challenge, this international urban design competition asks university students to envision a better Philadelphia. The competition takes place in the Fall and winning teams are honored at the Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards in February.

Comments are closed.