2019 Prize Completed


Transformative projects,
igniting citywide change.

2019 Winner

A safer walk to a brighter future in Dar es Salaam


Explore our shortlist of urban innovators

Big changes
Can start small

The WRI Ross Prize for Cities is the premier global award celebrating and spotlighting transformative urban change. With the generous support of Stephen M. Ross, the prize awards $250,000 to one project that has ignited citywide change.

2019 Prize Completed
We aim to…
  • INSPIRE a new sense of possibility

  • DISCOVER how big changes can start small

  • CONNECT the work we do and the change we want to see in the world

  • CREATE better cities by amplifying transformative initiatives

01Applications open
02Applications close
03Five finalists announced
04Jury completes final reviews
05Winner announced

To Sarsai

2019 Winner

In our increasingly complex world, Amend’s School Area Road Safety Assessments and Improvements (SARSAI) stood out to our jury for the simplicity of its evidence-based approach to reversing the escalating crisis of road traffic deaths and injuries.

It is highly replicable, in a short time, expanding from 2 high-risk school areas in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to more than 50 high-risk school areas in 9 countries.

And it has had an outsized impact on the communities where it has been adopted. By designing from the angle of the child pedestrian, SARSAI benefits the safety and security of all.

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Children and the poor are the ones brutalized by poor planning. SARSAI has created a consciousness that is very powerful. It’s very visceral, emotional. It’s about mortality, making it less brutal, giving people a quality of life.
These are the tools that help governments make informed decisions.
People want to be educated. But you also need to be able to get to a school, and in many urban environments, that poses the single greatest difficulty, whether you’re talking about Africa or you’re talking about the United States or Europe.
SARSAI gives you so much to build upon for the future. This is about innovation. That’s what will spread.



2019 Winner

School Area Road Safety Assessments and Improvements
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Warwick Junction

Co-creating a more inclusive city
Durban, South Africa

Eskişehir Urban Development Project

Reinvigorating a river and a city
Eskisehir, Turkey


Shifting the boundaries of urban opportunity
Medellín, Colombia

SWaCH Pune Seva Sahakari Sanstha

Integrating informal workers for cleaner streets
Pune, India
Applications received


Wri ross prize jury

The distinguished Jury, chaired by Stephen M. Ross, will draw on their diverse experiences and expertise to select the first recipient of the WRI Ross Prize for Cities.

Stephen M. Ross
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CHAIRMAN OF THE JURY – Chairman and Founder, Related Companies
David Adjaye
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Founder and Principal, Adjaye Associates
Jean Liu
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President, Didi Chuxing
Jim Umpleby
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Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, Caterpillar Inc.
Marinela Servitje
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President, Sietecolores: Interactive Ideas
Norman Foster
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Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners
Rahul Mehrotra
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Founder Principal, RMA Architects
Sheela Patel
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Founder and Director, Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers
Steve Strongin
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Head of Global Investment Research, Goldman Sachs
Yousef Al Otaiba
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Ambassador to the United States, United Arab Emirates
Frannie Léautier
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Chief Operating Officer, Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank
Advisory Council

Based on knowledge of existing urban initiatives, the Advisory Council recommends transformative urban projects worthy of the WRI Ross Prize for Cities.

Sahar Attia
Professor of Architecture, Urban Design and Planning, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University
Nadine Bitar
Thought Leader, Place-Led 4.0 and Director, Placemaking.me
Uwe S. Brandes
Faculty Director, Urban & Regional Planning, Georgetown University
Skye Duncan
Director, Global Designing Cities Initiative at NACTO
Diza Gonzaga
President, Thiago de Moraes Gonzaga Foundation
Andrew Altman
Principal, Fivesquares Development
Madhav Badami
Professor, McGill University
Solly Benjamin
Professor, IIT Madras
Alain Bertaud
Senior Research Scholar, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University
Gautam Bhan
Lead, Academics and Research, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore
Saul Billingsley
Executive Director, FIA Foundation
Eugenie L. Birch
Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Harriet Bulkeley
Professor, Department of Geography, Durham University
Yves Cabannes
Emeritus Professor of Development Planning, Chair of Development Planning, University College London
Professor Vanesa Castán Broto
Professorial Fellow, Sheffield Urban Institute and Department of Geography, University of Sheffield
William (Billy) Cobbett
Director, Cities Alliance
Clarisse Cunha Linke
Country Director, ITDP Brazil
Haluk Gerçek
Emeritus Professor, Istanbul Technical University (ITU)
Dr. Cynthia Goytia
Professor, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella; Harvard University Visiting Scholar, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
Fiona Harvey
Environment Correspondent, The Guardian

Neil Jeffery
Chief Executive Officer, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)
Guilherme Johnston
Senior Cities Advisor
Thomas Kerr
Annette M. Kim
Director, Spatial Analysis Lab (SLAB) at the University of Southern California
Amitabh Kundu
Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Dr. Pawan Kumar Labhasetwar
Senior Principal Scientist & Head, Water Technology and Management Division CSIR-NEERI
Anthony Ling
Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Caos Planejado
Martha Martorelli
Planning Manager, Brazil Ministry of Cities
Joy A. Mboya
Executive Director, The GoDown Arts Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.
Diana Mitlin
Diana Mitlin, Professor of Global Urbanism and Managing Director of the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester.
Robert Mukiza
Deputy Director & Representative to Ethiopia, African Union Commission and UNECA, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)
Juan Carlos Munoz
Director, Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (CEDEUS)
Michael Murphy
Executive Director and Co-Founder, MASS Design Group
Harini Nagendra
Professor, Azim Premji University
Jeff Olson, R.A.
Principal, Alta Planing + Design
Mary Jane C. Ortega
Special Advisor, CITYNET and to the City of Yokohama Y-Port Project
Lincoln Paiva
President, Green Mobility
Carlosfelipe Pardo
Executive Director, Despacio.org
Sue Parnell
Professor, University of Cape Town
Karen C. Seto
Frederick C. Hixon Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Research, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
Dr. Jonathan Silver
Leverhulme ECR Fellow, University of Sheffield
Andrew Simmons
Research Director, Resilience Brokers (Ecological Sequestration Trust)
Caroline Skinner
Urban Policies Program Director, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing
Mpho Parks Tau
President, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA)
John Taylor
International Project Manager, UNDP
Dr. Christina Y.P. Ting
Postdoctoral research fellow, Social Innovation Research Institute, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Sandro Vieira
Co-founder and Executive Director, WTC Consulting South Brazil
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