The Awards

Applications for the six Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design are now open and will close on January 18, 2023.

CNDA Selection Criteria and Process

There are six Chicago Neighborhood Development Award categories that are open to Chicago-area organizations for application. They are:

All applicants will be scheduled to have a one-hour site visit with a team of community development industry professionals to be scheduled on Feb 9 or Feb 10, 2023.

Selection criteria

For the CNDA Awards, teams of three to four volunteer judges, representing both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, evaluate and rate each applicant on three primary aspects of the organization or project:

  • building process or organizational effectiveness
  • community impact
  • and project or organizational challenge.

Teams of judges from the for-profit and non-profit sectors will schedule one-hour site visits with applicants to learn more about the submitted projects and programs. The CNDA applicant interviews will take place on Feb 9 or Feb 10, 2023. Applications and information from the site visits are provided to the Awards Committee who reviews all information and makes the selection. Winners will be notified by early March 2023.


The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design Criteria and Process

For The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, a jury of recognized leaders from Chicago's architectural and civic community select the winning projects.  To be eligible a development must:

  • be located in Cook County;
  • serve a predominantly low to moderate income population AND/OR be located in a predominantly low to moderate income neighborhood;
  • be completed and in-use upon submission of application; and
  • have been completed within the last three years.

Selection criteria

  • Demonstrates superior design quality responsive to the neighborhood context and the constraints imposed by funding and regulatory agencies.
  • Responds successfully to the needs of the population served.
  • Enhances the overall development of the local community; and
  • Exhibits a creative design solution that could become a model for projects in other neighborhoods.

Award Finalists will be notified in early Feb 2023 and scheduled for a 45-minute in-person site visit with the Jury on Feb 15, 2023. Winners will be selected and notified in early March 2023.