Presenting the 2022 LAURELS AWARDS

Presenting the 2022 LAURELS AWARDS

For two decades, the LAURELS AWARDS have stood to recognize the people and projects shaping our metro in inspiring ways.


On November 10, over 175 people joined us at The Farnam for a joyous evening to celebrate the nominees and winners of the 2022 Laurels Awards. We were thrilled to celebrate the inspiring individuals and organizations who together are building a more vibrant, livable city for all.

Nominations were submitted and winners selected by Omaha by Design’s Advisory Council. Please join us in congratulating these exemplary nominees and winners.

The Access & Mobility Award recognizes an individual, group, organization, or business that has worked to enhance the way we move around the city and how its neighborhoods connect to one another.

  • Blackstone District Pedestrian Safety Pilot | City of Omaha Public Works Dept., Blackstone Business Improvement District, Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig
  • FIRST AVE Trail  | City of Council Bluffs, HDR, Iowa West Foundation, Snyder & Associates
  • Heartland Bike Share
  • Omaha Streetcar Authority
Access & Mobility Award Winner is First Ave Trail

The Environment & Open Space Award recognizes an individual, group, organization, or business that has worked to preserve or enhance the metro’s natural setting, park system, or open spaces.

  • Composting Club & School Composting Programs | Hillside Solutions
  • Millwork Park | Millwork Commons, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, Olsson
  • Tri-Faith Commons Abraham’s Circle Bridge | Tri-Faith Initiative, Olsson
  • Zero-Emission Electric Buses | Metro Transit, The Nebraska Environmental Trust
Environment & Open Space Award Winner is Zero-Emission Electric Buses

The Neighborhood Revitalization Award recognizes an individual, organization or business that has worked to preserve or enhance a neighborhood within our region.

  • Benson Creative District  | Benson Creative District Coordinating Committee
  • Economic Recovery Act LB 1024 | Senators Justin Wayne, Terrell McKinney, Megan Hunt, Carol Blood, Tony Vargas, Matt Hansen
  • South Omaha Choice Neighborhood Planning | City of Omaha Planning Dept., Canopy South, Omaha Housing Authority
  • Urban Core Strategic Plan | Greater Omaha Chamber Urban Core Committee
Neighborhood Revitalization Award Winner is Urban Core Strategic Plan

The Young Urbanist Award recognizes an individual, forty-five or under, who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to making our metro an even better place to live, work, and play.

  • Andrew Conzett | Conzett Architecture
  • Cesar Garcia | Canopy South
  • Itzel Lopez | Latino Economic Development Council
  • Angel Starks | Nebraska Realty & Spark
  • Todd Swirczek | Noddle Companies
Young Urbanist Award winner is Cesar Garcia

The Laurels Award, Omaha by Design’s highest honor, recognizes an individual, organization, or business for significant contributions in furthering people-centered urban design and policy.

  • Gene Leahy Mall at The RiverFront | RiverFront Steering Committee, City of Omaha, MECA, HDR, Kiewit

  • Jay Lund

  • Annette & Paul Smith
2022 Laurels Award Winner is Gene Leahy Mall
Gene Leahy Mall with view of reflecting pool, splash pad, and Downtown Omaha skyline.
Gene Leahy Mall at night with view of amphitheater and fireworks.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

The 2022 LAURELS AWARDS would not be possible without the support of these generous sponsors and partners.