Established in 1961 and named after the first UIA President, Sir Patrick Abercrombie, the UIA’s Abercrombie Prize recognises exemplary works of urban and regional planning and design. The son of a Manchester stockbroker and one of nine children, Sir Patrick Abercrombie was a British architect and town planner known for his role in the post-WWII reconstruction of London. After 6 years of architecture apprenticeships in Manchester and Liverpool, he joined the staff of the University of Liverpool, where he later became a professor of civic design (1915–35). During his tenure at Liverpool, he cofounded the Council for the Preservation of Rural England (1926) and drafted schemes for the English towns and regions of Sheffield, Doncaster, Bristol, and Bath, among others.

Later on, while professor of town planning at University College London (1935–46), Abercrombie devised postwar reconstruction plans for London and its environs. He sought to combat urban sprawl by resettling the population into a number of distinct, self-sufficient communities connected by an improved network of roads. He also contributed to the redevelopment of other war-torn English towns, including Plymouth, Hull, and Bournemouth, and cities outside England like Edinburgh, Hong Kong, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Abercrombie was knighted in 1945.

Winners of the Prize (1961 – 2021) 

1961 – Town Planning Service of the City of Stockholm (S. Markelius and G. Onblahd, Sweden)
1963 – G. Dioxiadis (Greece)
1965 – ex-Aequo: C. Buchanan and team (United Kingdom), T. Farkas and team (Hungary)
1967 – Giancarlo de Carlo (Italy)
1969 – H. Bennet and team (United Kingdom); Mention to Belaunde Terry (Peru)
1972 – Centre for Experimentation, Research and Training (Morocco)
1975 – Iosif Bronislavovitch Orlov and Nilolai Ivanovitch Simonov (USSR)
1978 – The City of Louvain la Neuve (Belgium)
1981 – Warsaw architects (Poland) for the reconstruction of their capital: mention to M. Balderiotte and team (Argentina)
1984 – Hans Blumenfeld (Canada) and Lucio Costa (Brazil)
1987 – AIA Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team (R/UDAT) (USA), Mention to Eduardo Leira (Spain); Mention to L. Bortenreuter, K. Griebel, H.G. Tiedt for the remodeling of the city centre of Gera (GDR)
1990 – Famund N. Bacon (USA)
1993 – Jan Gehl (Denmark)
1996 – Juan Gil Elizondo (Mexico)
1999 – Karl Ganser (Germany) Honorary mention: Masterplan of the city of Shenzhen (People’s Republic of China)
2002 – Group 91 Architects for the Temple Bar district in Dublin (Ireland)
2005 – Nuno Portas (Portugal) Mention: Hermann Sträb (Germany)
2008 – Ex-aequo: Sir Peter Hall (United Kingdom) & Mahmoud Yousry Hassan (Egypt)
2011 – Valentin Nazarov (Russia)
2014 – not awarded
2017 – not awarded
2021 – Joan Busquets I Grau (Spain)