Nov 4, 201309:00 AMPoint of View

The METROPOLIS Blog

Rudy Bruner Awards for Providence and Dallas

Rudy Bruner Awards for Providence and Dallas

Contemporary creativity and industrial heritage come together in the “urban wild” landscape of The Steel Yard.

Courtesy Bruner Foundation

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Small projects can have big impact. For instance, take the two Silver Medalists in the 2013 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA)—The Steel Yard in Providence and the Congo Street Initiative in Dallas. Each is inspiring people to think differently about development in their neighborhoods and cities by promoting the value of collaboration, taking risks, and pursuing an organic, locally driven approach to rebuilding urban spaces and communities…one project at a time.

Last month, Simeon Bruner and I traveled to Rhode Island and Texas to present these awards. The two ceremonies reflected each winner’s deep roots in their communities as founders, staff, residents, and friends gathered at the sites to celebrate, along with representatives from past RBA winners 1997 Silver Medalist Providence River Relocation Project and 2011 Gold Medalist The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center (Dallas). Attendees at both ceremonies reflected a shift toward creative, “do-it-yourself” young people that are anchoring development in both locales as they put down roots, invest in careers and homes, and start families.

Simeon Bruner presents the RBA Silver Medal award certificate to the founders of The Steel Yard, Clay Rockefeller and Nick Bauta.

Courtesy AS220Youth

The role of artists as developers was showcased as staff, neighbors, and supporters of The Steel Yard gathered in the project’s courtyard on October 3 for remarks by Governor Lincoln Chafee and a panel discussion moderated by Metropolis editor in chief Susan Szenasy. Panelists including founders Clay Rockefeller and Nick Bauta, Lynn McCormack from the City of Providence, Frank Shea from Olneyville Housing Corporation, Kaki Martin from Klopfer Martin Design Group, artist Lee Corley, Craig Pickell from Bullard Abrasives, and Simeon discussed the project’s origins and its impact on its neighborhood as well as on Providence.

Susan Szenasy moderates the panel discussion including Nick Bauta (behind the podium), Clay Rockefeller, Lynn McCormack, Frank Shea, Kaki Martin, Simeon Bruner, Lee Corley and Craig Pickell (not pictured).

Courtesy Bruner Foundation

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