SANTA MONICA—The Urban Land Institute of Los Angeles has honored the City of Santa Monica’s Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square Project as one of the six finalists in the ULI Global Award of Excellence for Urban Open Space. The park is competing against five other finalists: Marina Bay, Singapore; Millennium Park, Chicago; Myriad gardens, Oklahoma; Thousand Lantern Lake Park System, China; and Washington Central Park in Washington DC. The winner will be announced in October, 2015.

James Corner Field Operations of New York City designed the 7.4 acre Santa Monica Tongva Park. The project offers a new model of sustainability and environmental and cultural considerations that similarly scaled projects are lacking. The park opened to the public in 2013.

The Global Award “celebrates and promotes vibrant, successful urban open spaces by annually recognizing and rewarding an outstanding example a public destination that has enriched and revitalized its surrounding community,” according the ULI’s website. It was created thanks to the generosity of Amanda M Burden, New York City planning commissioner. In 2011, the Kresge Foundation, MetLife Foundation and ULI Foundation joined forces to continue the ULI Urban Open Space Award.

Leanne Lachman, Jury Chair for the competition said, “each finalist encourages communities to stay and actively participate, enlivening their neighborhoods and tightening the fabric of their cities.”
The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize for the individual or group of individuals that are mostly responsible for the creation of the project. Karen Ginsberg, director of community and cultural services, said that if the Tongva Park wins, the money will go to either the Santa Monica City or the design team, James Corner Field Operations.

Tongva Park Santa Monica
Tongva Park Santa Monica

This is not the first time the Tongva Park receives recognition for its success. In April, the project was awarded recognition from the nonprofit American Planning Association, earning the association’s National Achievement Award for Urban Design.