2016 Commonwealth Awards - Save the Date!



The 2016 Commonwealth Awards Program

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

5:30 - 8:00

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA


  Honoring the Commonwealth's Smart Growth Initiatives and Presenting the 'Joanne Denworth Founders Award' to Drexel University

Reception to follow the Awards program.


The Commonwealth Awards is 10,000 Friends' signature program recognizing great development projects and initiatives - and the people and organizations that make them happen.  It is the only statewide smart growth award program in Pennsylvania and reflects 10,000 Friends' commitment to improving the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. Through the Commonwealth Awards, we recognize leading development projects that utilize best practices creating great walkable, sustainable, equitable, and healthy communities.    

Over the years, we have recognized a wide array of great projects - mixed-use, residential, commercial, industrial, public infrastructure, recreational/ green space, schools and other community institutions, and municipal planning projects - that demonstrate urban infill, historic rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, brownfield redevelopment, and other revitalization techniques.

For the very first time, at our January 24th event, 10,000 Friends is focusing exclusively on the transformational impact major institutions can have on a region through creative public-private partnerships and strategic investment in placemaking projects exemplifying land use excellence. 

We are pleased to announce that Drexel University will be the recipient of the inaugural Joanne Denworth Founders Award at the 2016 Commonwealth Awards to be held in Philadelphia on January 24, 2017.

This year's Commonwealth Awards will also present our Excellence in Community Transportation Award to SEPTA and the Excellence in Public Infrastructure Award to the Philadelphia Water Department, as well as recognize outstanding leadership in the business and development community.

The Joanne Denworth Founders Award 

Named in honor of 10,000 Friends' Founder and first President Joanne Denworth, the Award recognizes visionary institutional leadership in community revitalization initiatives that exemplify sound land use principles. Drexel President John Fry will accept the award on behalf of Drexel University and the many partners that have contributed to the game-changing redevelopment underway in West Philadelphia.

As the leading state-wide smart growth advocacy organization, 10,000 Friends seeks to celebrate innovation and excellence in land use and development and the ground-breaking projects and initiatives that are shaping our future growth and prosperity - the kinds of investments that breathe new life into declining neighborhoods, increase opportunities in communities on the rise, and find new uses for vacant and underutilized land.  Smart and innovative projects can and do serve as catalysts for more sustainable development.  By recognizing these efforts through the Commonwealth Awards, we hope to encourage civic leadership at all levels and encourage local developers to make more such projects a reality.

Please join us on January 24th and consider supporting the event as a sponsor.

For more information on sponsorships, click our 2016 Commonwealth Awards 'Sponsorship' tab.


With the introduction of the Joanne Denworth Founders Award, this year's Commonwealth Awards are focused on honoring the transformational impact of visionary leadership by major regional institutions. The Awards will focus on honoring institutional initiatives, and thus we are not soliciting project submissions this year and there is no Call for Project Entries for the 2016 Commonwealth Awards event.

Private project submissions will be sought and welcomed once again next year, when we will return to our traditional format, and there will be a Call for Project Entries issued for the 2017 Commonwealth Awards program. We look forward to learning of and reviewing outstanding project submissions in 2017.


Questions?  Please contact Jack Machek at 717-234-6070  or jmachek@10000friends.org.