Transformative Mobilities: Porto & Medellín

Recipients of the Eleventh Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design:

Metro do Porto by Architect Eduardo Souto de Moura
Acknowledging the transportation authority Metro do Porto

Northeastern Urban Integration Project by the City of Medellín
Acknowledging the government agency Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano (EDU) Medellín and the design leadership of architect Alejandro Echeverri

This cycle of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design recognizes two projects that highlight the potential for thoughtfully planned and carefully executed mobility infrastructures to transform a city and its region. These projects harness the strategic power of new infrastructure to repair and regenerate the urban fabric—both physical and social.

Urbanization globally is characterized by an ongoing intensification of inequities, where the city becomes a contested space charged by uneven patterns of development and access to infrastructure. Within such environments, transportation infrastructures can become equalizing instruments that foster mobility in its broadest sense, truly facilitating access to the city.

The two exhibited projects, from vastly different settings, establish transformative mobilities that go beyond physical movement to encompass social as well as economic mobility, at once reinvigorating civic space and reinforcing the rights of citizens. Placing these two diverse yet both highly successful projects within the same narrative frame also highlights the varied economic, political, cultural, and logistical challenges that each has surmounted. This exhibition explores these challenges and the strategies deployed by each design team to negotiate and respond to their particular contexts, and celebrates the potential of these cities to generate outstanding urban design projects.

Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning
Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design

About the Prize

The Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design is the foremost award recognizing achievement in this field. The award was established in 1986 on the occasion of Harvard University’s 350th anniversary, and the 50th anniversary of the Harvard Design School. Nominations for the prize are received from its extensive network of academics and urban design professionals.

The Veronica Rudge Green Prize is awarded biennially to recognize exemplary urban design projects. Projects must be more than one building or an open space built anywhere in the world within the last ten years or so that makes a positive contribution to the public realm of a city and improves the quality of urban life in that context. The project must also demonstrate a humane and worthwhile direction for the design of urban environments.


Anita Berrizbeitia, Professor of Landscape Architecture, GSD
Joan Busquets, Martin Bucksbaum Professor in Practice of Urban Planning and Design, GSD
Gary Hilderbrand, Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture, GSD
Michael Sorkin, Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture
Rahul Mehrotra, Green Prize Jury Chair and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, GSD

For an in-depth look at the winning projects, interviews with the jurors, and a history or the prize, visit the exhibition website.