The Re-Live Downtown plan developed for Pine Bluff was selected for the Gold Award for the World Architectural News.

According to a press release, the WAN Awards program, now in its 11th year, recognizes “the outstanding work of innovative, visionary and imaginative architects worldwide and was presented in London, England during the annual banquet.

In December of 2018, Stephen Luoni, director of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center

joined community leaders in the unveiling of the Re-Live Downtown plan before a packed house at the

Community Theater. The Pine Bluff plan competed with cities such as Brooklyn, New York; Toronto,

Canada; Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in China; and Fushun County in China.

“We are so pleased that our urban design work for Pine Bluff has been recognized with a high

international design award,” Luoni said. “There is a real demand for understanding a design’s indispensable role in

regenerating downtowns and coordinating the social capital that makes our cities successful places. We

hope this recognition gives Pine Bluff the confidence and encouragement to move forward with the first

stages of the revitalization plans, as folks from far away are interested in seeing what you do.”

The Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency adopted the Re-Live Downtown plan in early 2019 as a guide

towards their part in the revitalization of downtown. The Agency has been working towards its goal of

fostering a revitalized downtown with new and mixed uses.

Maurice Taggart, executive director of the Agency said that the award was deserving and another

example of the great things happening in Pine Bluff. “News of the award spread quickly throughout the

state of Arkansas,”he said. “I received numerous phone calls from a number of my friends congratulating us on the

award and the progress taking place in Pine Bluff. As detailed in the Re-Live plan, it is imperative that we

focus on rebuilding downtown housing in order to effectively encourage downtown development.”

Mayor Shirley Washington congratulated the team on the award. “This outstanding design award is a

testament to the growing excitement and promise in our community. It puts Pine Bluff on the

international radar of rising cities.”

Ryan Watley CEO of Go Forward Pine Bluff added that “the Re-Live Downtown plan is the result of

many community meetings where citizens expressed a vision for downtown Pine Bluff. Steve’s ability to

capture and depict these ideas mixed with fundamental housing illustrates the passion that we share in

Pine Bluff. The award further validates our approach to revitalization and adds significant value to our

conversations with potential investors.

For information regarding the Re-Live Downtown plan, please visit