Book Submission Deadline: October 15, 2020
Award decision: January 11, 2021

Since 1999, the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) has sponsored an award for the best book in the field of urban affairs/urban studies. From 1999-2015, the award was given on a biennial basis and focused on North American urban contexts. However, in 2016, the award became an annual opportunity, and the guidelines were revised to welcome books on any urban context in the world. The purpose of the award is to encourage high-quality research on urban issues and reward cogent writing on urban affairs. An announcement with deadlines will be made on this website each summer.

Eligibility Guidelines

  • To be eligible for the award, the book must address a significant issue in urban affairs or contribute to our understanding of urban issues and processes, and it must approach its topic in a scholarly fashion.
  • The book may have one or more urban contexts, and can be comparative or cross-national.
  • The book can be a theoretical argument, or it can be based on empirical research.
  • Its argumentative style should be systematic, non-polemical, and situated within a relevant literature.
  • Edited volumes, textbooks, dissertations, research reports, and journal articles are not eligible.
  • The book must be written or translated/republished in English.
  • A book can be nominated by its author(s), publisher, or by a member of UAA.
  • Previously nominated books can be re-nominated if they fulfill all other eligibility guidelines.

And for the 2021 Best Book Award:

  • A book must have a copyright of 2019 or 2020.
  • Due to postal handling risks and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, UAA will only accept digital copies of nominated books.
  • The digital copy must be submitted no later than by October 15, 2020 via the online Best Book Award Nomination & Digital Book Submission Form.
  • IMPORTANT: Digital access to the book must allow for reading by all seven committee members.

Award Benefits

Each award is presented during the Awards and Recognition Luncheon held during the annual spring conference. The recipient(s) will receive a plaque, $500 honorarium, complimentary conference registration (valued at $400+), $500 in travel support, and an invitation to the annual VIP Dinner.

The award selection committee may choose to recognize another book(s) by giving Honorable Mention award(s). Each Honorable Mention award recipient will receive a conference registration waiver and an invitation to the annual VIP Dinner.

Nomination

Nomination instructions:
To nominate a book, ask the author or publisher to submit a digital copy of the book via the Best Book Award Nomination & Digital Book Submission Form, no later than October 15, 2020. Only books meeting the stated eligibility guidelines, and that are received by the nomination deadline, will be given consideration. We will begin accepting book nominations and digital copy submissions by July 1.

Award Decision

A committee of UAA members selected by the Governing Board Chair will make the award decision. The UAA Executive Office will notify the award winner  by January 11, 2021.

Questions regarding the award may be sent to: awards@uaamail.org 

Previous Winners

2020
Jessica Trounstine
Segregation by Design: Local Politics and Inequality in American Cities
Cambridge University Press
Award Press Release

2019
Mehrsa Baradaran
The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap
Belknap Press
Award Press Release

The Color of Money Book

2018
Nikhil Anand
Hydraulic city: Water and the infrastructures of citizenship in Mumbai
Duke University Press
Award Press Release

2018 (Honorable Mention)
Gavin Shatkin
Cities for profit: The real estate turn in Asia’s urban politics
Cornell University Press
Award Press Release

2017
Rachel Weber
From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago
The University of Chicago Press, 2015
Award Press Release

2017 (Honorable Mention)
Robert Chaskin & Mark M. Joseph
Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation
The University of Chicago Press, 2015
Award Press Release

2015
Lawrence J. Vale
Purging the Poorest: Public Housing and the Design Politics of Twice-Cleared Communities

University Of Chicago Press, 2013
Award Press Release

2015 (Honorable Mention)
Sonia Hirt
Zoned in the USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land-Use Regulation

Cornell University Press, 2014
Award Press Release

2013
Rachel Woldoff
White Flight/Black Flight: The Dynamics of Racial Change in an American Neighborhood
Cornell University Press, 2011

2011
Japonica Brown-Saracino
A Neighborhood That Never Changes: Gentrification, Social Preservation, and the Search for Authenticity
University of Chicago Press, 2010

2011 (Honorable Mention)
Karen Bakker
Privatizing Water: Governance Failure and the World’s Urban Water Crisis
Cornell University Press, 2010

2009
David Freund
Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban America
University of Chicago Press, 2007

2007
Lance Freeman
There Goes the ‘Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up
Temple University Press, 2006

2005
Robert O. Self
American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Post War Oakland
Princeton University Press, 2003

2003
Eric Klinenberg
Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago
University of Chicago Press, 2002

2001
Lawrence Vale
From the Puritans to the Projects: Public Housing and Public Neighbors
Harvard University Press, 2000

1999
Paul Jargowsky
Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City
Russell Sage Foundation Publications, 1998