Impact Award Categories


This prestigious award sets the standard for the entire Impact Awards program.  The recipient of this award is an individual in the field of real estate development or a related area such as finance, planning, or design who has made an outstanding contribution in his or her lifetime within the Central Texas region.

The Visionary Award is awarded to an individual who 1) Has a minimum of 20 years industry involvement; 2) Has demonstrated a lasting contribution to the built environment; 3) Has a portfolio of work with significant, positive impact on the Central Texas region; and 4) Has a history of community service and leadership. There is no application for this category.  The winner of the Vision Award is pre-selected by the ULI Austin Governance Committee.

Nominations & Project Entries for the 2019 Impact Awards will be accepted beginning June 1, 2019.


Most Influential ULI Member of the Year

A current ULI member who creates positive contributions to ULI, ULI Austin, their profession and the community. The award recognizes a member who contributes to the success of ULI and the real estate industry as a whole.

  • Must be a ULI member.
  • Can be nominated by other ULI members, outside source or self-nomination.
  • Contributes to the success of ULI and the real estate industry as a whole.
  • Consideration includes contributions to ULI, contributions to profession and community and years of committed service.

Top Contributing ULI Young Leader

Recognizes an outstanding ULI Young Leader who creates positive contributions to ULI Young Leaders, their profession and the community. These younger professionals set the bar for career advancement, goal-setting, community service and a strong commitment to ULI’s mission.

  • Must be a ULI Young Leader member/participant.
  • Can be nominated by young leader group or by outside source (company principal, etc.) or self-nominated.
  • Considerations for award are not only contributions to young leaders group but also contributions to profession and the community.


Three finalists will be selected in each category and their submissions will be on display at the Awards Event.  The winner in each category will be announced at the Awards Event and presented with a distinctive award commemorating the event.

General Priorities for ALL competitive project awards:

  1. Must have been completed between June 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. (Note: The Next Big Idea does not have to be a project, nor is it required to be completed.)
  2. Exemplifies ULI’s mission to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide
  3. Achieves excellence through the application of best practices
  4. Reflects high-quality planning and design
  5. Incorporates elements aimed at supporting better health
  6. Promotes sustainable development and smart energy use
  7. Achieves economic success, market acceptance and is financially sustainable*

*Public sector/non-profit entries will be considered on the basis of how successful the investment of public or contributed funds has been in transforming communities and neighborhoods.

Most Influential Project 

Recognizes a project that creates a positive impact beyond its immediate borders and energizes the development of the surrounding community, resulting in a lasting effect on the built environment.  Submissions may include a private or non-profit sector project that has enhanced economic development, environmental remediation, affordable or mixed-income housing, or improved accessibility or health.   Submissions must include one or more of the following:

  • Overcoming unusual or difficult obstacles to development.
  • Successful public/private collaboration leading to influential results.
  • Measurable direct benefit to the community.
  • Positive impact on the market area.

Best Project Innovation 

Highlights originality and creativity in development and can include aspects of design, place-making, supporting public transit, sustainability, financing (including public/private partnerships), innovative land use or community planning or other inventive features (specifically describe the innovative features).  Submissions must include one or more of the following:

  • Resourceful use of land or successful adaptive reuse of the property.
  • Sustainability, preservation or enhancement of environmental resources.
  • Entrepreneurship or creative development team organization and management.
  • Cutting edge design and planning features.

Best Project Design  

Recognizes a completed project which demonstrated excellence in design for architecture, interior design, engineering, planning, or other project element.

  • Project must be completed between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2018.
  • Must be located within the Greater Austin area.

Best Public Place 

Identifies a project that provides the public with enhanced civic, open or public space access or experiences.  Project may be public sector, non-profit, public/private partnership or entirely private sector, as long as the space itself is generally open to the public without charge.  Submissions must include one or more of the following:

  • Creates a lively gathering space, serving as a public destination.
  • Exhibits intensive use on a regular basis and act as a magnet for a broad spectrum of users.
  • A facility that is inviting to the public regardless of ownership.
  • Promotes physical, social and/or economic health.
  • Adaptability to other communities.

Next Big Idea 

This award goes to an upcoming project, master planning effort, redevelopment, program, policy or ‘idea’ that will transform our industry and our community. Submissions do not have to be completed projects or even a project at all! We seek innovative ideas that can positively impact the region’s quality of life, such as improving the quality of the built environment, the way in which planning and development are conducted, construction affordability, financing or other aspects of development.  What would make our region more resilient? More enjoyable?

  • First-of-its-kind, or a catalyst for community improvement
  • Can be either in conceptual or planning stages but must be a viable idea.
  • Makes a positive and unique contribution to the City and/or community that it is envisioned to be in.
  • Actual “Big Idea” need not be limited to the City of Austin, but can be located anywhere in the world so long as it is submitted by a firm that has a presence in Austin and will impact the Greater Austin Area.