Maurice Cox Named 2024 Henry Hope Reed Award Laureate for Addressing Social Inequity and Preserving Communities

Chicago, IL – Maurice Cox, a renowned civic leader, urban planner, and educator, has been announced as the recipient of the prestigious Henry Hope Reed Award. The award, presented by the Richard H. Driehaus jury, recognizes Cox’s commitment to addressing social and economic inequality through informed policy and design. Cox’s significant contributions to education and his dedication to preserving the fabric of communities have also been acknowledged.

The selection of Cox as the 2024 laureate highlights his exceptional career and the positive impact he has made on various communities. His extensive experience in political appointments, leadership positions in education, private practice, and elected roles demonstrate his ability to improve the lives of individuals within a community through civic engagement and design.

One of Cox’s notable achievements was serving as a member of the Charlottesville City Council in Virginia from 1996 to 2002, where he later assumed the role of mayor from 2002 to 2004. His leadership exemplified how an individual can bring about positive change through knowledge, collaboration, and dedication to the common good.

The jury citation for the award praised Cox’s efforts to create access to housing and neighborhood services for all citizens through sustainable and resilient urban development models. Throughout his career, Cox has consistently chosen to work in places facing significant challenges, leaving behind solid foundations for others to build upon.

During his tenure as mayor of Charlottesville, the city received recognition as the “Best Place to Live in the USA & Canada” and maintained a AAA-bond rating for excellence in fiscal management. Cox’s leadership also resulted in the completion of several impactful projects, including the development of zoning ordinances supporting mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development, the establishment of new residential neighborhoods, and the construction of a federally funded parkway entrance into the city.

Cox’s dedication to planning and development extended beyond his public service in Virginia. He continued his work at Tulane University, where he managed successful programs focused on urban design, sustainable real estate development, and preservation. His next roles as director of planning in Detroit and commissioner of planning and development in Chicago showcased his ability to drive significant regeneration efforts and promote affordable housing solutions in underserved neighborhoods.

As an architect who studied under the guidance of John Hejduk at Cooper Union in New York, Cox co-founded the national Social, Economic, Environmental, Design (SEED) Network. His expertise also led him to serve as design director of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and oversee the distribution of NEA design grants across the United States.

The esteemed Henry Hope Reed Award carries a $50,000 prize and is administered by the Driehaus Trust in honor of Richard H. Driehaus, founder and chairman of Driehaus Capital Management LLC. Cox’s recognition by this renowned jury reflects his remarkable contributions to society, and his dedication to improving the built environment for the benefit of all.