Tech Square Wins Urban Land Institute Award

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has recognized Technology Square as one of 10 winners of its 2004 Awards for Excellence competition. The award is widely recognized as the land use industry's most prestigious recognition program.

The competition was established in 1979 and recognizes the full development process of a project, not just architecture or design. The criteria for the awards include leadership, contribution to the community, innovations, public/private partnership, environmental protection and enhancement, response to societal needs, and financial success.

ULI Chairman Harry Frampton announced the Awards for Excellence winners during a gala celebrating the finalists at ULI's Fall Meeting in New York City. "The Awards for Excellence program is as much about celebrating the people who make the developments a reality as the developments themselves," Frampton said. "Behind every great project is an individual who is passionate about the project and dedicated to seeing it through from start to finish."

Projects were evaluated on the basis of financial viability, the resourceful use of land, design, relevance to contemporary issues, and sensitivity to the community and environment. Each contributes to a live-work-play environment and is designed to complement and enhance the greater community.

"This project allowed Georgia Tech to reconnect to midtown by bridging the divide created by the construction of the I-75/85 freeway," Tech President G. Wayne Clough told the ULI.

"Technology Square is important not only because of its symbolic value, but also because its role as an anchor has energized others to participate in the midtown renaissance. It has helped create a visible technology corridor for Atlanta and replaced the vacant lots and derelict buildings that once filled the area with beautiful new facilities. It also has created a new home for Georgia Tech's business school and economic outreach activities. We are very proud of what has been done and of the fantastic team that made this dream come true," he said.

Over the years, the Awards for Excellence program has evolved from a recognition of one development in North America to an international competition with multiple winners, including the Heritage Award, which recognizes projects at least 25 years old that set the highest standards for excellence. Throughout the program's history all types of projects have been recognized for their excellence, including office, residential, recreational, urban/mixed-use, industrial/office park, commercial/retail, new community, rehabilitation and public projects.

Other 2004 Awards for Excellence winners are:
*Baldwin Park, Orlando, Florida
*Fall Creek Place, Indianapolis, Indiana
*First Ward Place/The Garden District, Charlotte, *North Carolina
*Fullerton Square Project, Singapore
*Playhouse Square Center, Cleveland, Ohio
*The Plaza at PPL Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania
*University Park at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts
*Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, California
*WaterColor, Seagrove Beach, Florida

Description of Technology Square by the Urban Land Institute

In a previously blighted and vacant three-block area of midtown Atlanta where security was a constant concern and pedestrian activity was nonexistent, Georgia Institute of Technology has overcome physical and psychological barriers to reconnect the university with the midtown neighborhood by developing a vibrant, 24/7 urban campus for students and community members alike. In Technology Square at Georgia Institute of Technology, students, faculty, midtown residents, businesspeople, and visitors meet and interact, attracted by wide, tree-lined sidewalks with benches and bicycle lanes, shops and restaurants, a hotel, on-street and garage parking, and access to public transportation. A free, alternative-fuel trolley takes students to and from the main campus and the Midtown Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transportation Authority (MARTA) station.

The development relocates and expands Georgia Tech's 1,500-student College of Management, now housed in a new structure featuring a four-story glass atrium that overlooks a central courtyard, opening up the building to natural light and creating two-way transparency that reinforces the connection between students and faculty within the building and the business and residential community outside. The structure is the second building in Georgia to be certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver building by the U.S.

Green Building Council, and lessons learned from the LEED initiative were incorporated whenever possible into the development's other buildings. Technology Square was the first development to implement Blueprint Midtown, a set of guidelines adopted by the Atlanta City Council as a special zoning district, and the project has set the standard by which future development in the area will be judged. It has spurred commercial development at an adjacent Class A office development planned in cooperation with Technology Square, thereby enhancing the synergy between private sector technology businesses and Georgia Tech's research and academic resources. This dynamic development has met the university's objectives while benefiting area residents and businesses and promoting the economic growth of the region.