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Apply now: the ECSP-Design awards are back!

After a challenging period for the industry, ECSP is delighted to launch the first year for its European-wide award. The Design Awards are open to everyone in the shopping place’s industry. The closing date for making applications for the 2023 Design Awards is 31 August 2022. Apply now!

Each year since 1977, the European Design and Development Awards recognize the most outstanding newly and refurbished/extended shopping places in Europe. These awards are recognized as the most prestigious in the field of European retail real estate, bringing International visibility and recognition to all finalists and winners.

The high reputation of these Awards meant that they quickly became one of the goals for many operators in the industry. There was always a strong loyalty amongst European developers towards the awards and there is a commonly held view that they are the ‘ones to win’.

A very careful selection process, which considered all the key aspects related to the development and implementation of a project, and a jury made up of recognized professionals in the sector have always characterized and underlined the prestige of these Awards. Along the years they followed a consistent format where site inspections form a major part of their uniqueness which is greatly appreciated by entrants. Also, presentation of the awards was considered to be the high point of the annual event/conference with an enhanced educational approach rather than simply a PR event.

European Design and Development Awards are always aimed at bringing together the entire value chain of those who invest in, create, manage and support shopping places and destinations and giving the opportunity to showcase top-of-the-spot and innovative projects.

Through the years the Design Awards Program has significantly evolved, specifically the judging criteria have been adapted to match the new rules the market set (i.e. innovation, digitalization, sustainability,…) including among participants also mixed use projects where retail is the core of the asset.

The current aim of the ECSP Design Awards is to relaunch a very successful story after two difficult years and to keep giving a much-needed showcase for successful projects; this will inevitably also drive to facilitate the outreach, exchange of information, networking and education this shopping place community needs to succeed.

ECSP also sees the Design Awards a clear opportunity to build up, more and more, its brand reputation.

General goals

The ECSP Awards Scheme aims to support and help deliver some of ECSPs key mission such as:

  • Advocate at a European level for the vital economic and social importance of retail and mixed-use destinations.
  • Encourage a sustainable and a level playing field for market participants and stakeholders.


Give ECSP the opportunity to publicly recognise significant European projects which have the shopping experience at their heart and contribute to building the ECSP brand and give a much-needed showcase for successful projects which deliver retail excellence.

How it operates

  1. Entries will be invited from the owners and developers of new and refurbished/extended shopping centre places
  2. Eligibility will be based on the opening date and be restricted to a time window* (this edition October 2018-June 2022.
  3. The Awards will be open to members of ECSP and non-members.
  4. Each entry will complete an on-line application detailing various key aspects of the project, uploading information onto a web-based system
  5. Finalists will be selected by members of the jury according to well-defined judging criteria
  6. Finalists will be visited at least by two jury members
  7. Two Categories: “New” Category and “Refurbishment and Extension” Category

Four Size Categories for each Category:
– Category 1 – Centres up to 15.000 sq m
– Category 2 – Centres of between 15.001-45.000 sq m
– Category 3 – Centres of between 45.001-70.000 sq m
– Category 4 – Centres of over 70.000 sq m

Who are the winners

  • Winning New Projects in the “New” Category
  • Winning Projects in the “Refurbishment and Extension” Category
  • And Eventually: Commendations for any projects which exhibit impressive performance or delivery in key aspects
  • The jury has the discretion to award: The ECSP Sustainable Places Award for a project demonstrating significant innovation and achievement on sustainability issues

How the Jury decides

There is a two-steps process for deciding who the winners are: the Jury will define the finalists on the basis of the analysis of the applications and then at least two Jurors will go visiting on-site all the finalist projects. The jury is looking for projects inspired by a solid approach as far as economic sustainability playing a dominant role in their target market, projects must have with innovative concepts, merchandising plans and be pro-actively managed. it will be also important to have a real attitude, backed by facts towards ESG.

What is expected from the applicants

The Jury asks applicants to be clear and consistent with their application, highlighting those points that explain why their project is worthy of an award and, very important, in what ways do they feel that other developers can benefit from their experience.

The jury

The jury will comprise a minimum of 8 members including the chair The membership of the jury reflects the wide professional skill set in the industry including development, investment, retailing, architecture, marketing, management and leasing and property consultancy.

2023 JURY:

  • Christian Recalcati – Chair of the Jury
  • Rob Pearce – Architect
  • Adolfo Suarez – Lombardini 22
  • Brent Katzin – Ingka
  • Cartsen Heidtman – Pandora
  • Christoph Andexlinger – SES
  • Luc Plasman – BLSC
  • Margarida Caldeira – Broadway
  • Malyan Marc Blum – ECE
  • Simon Staack – EMPLATE

Benefits of the participation

Benefits stand in two level:

1. the first is to be recognized as a significant player in our industry thanks to the opportunity of showcasing real successful projects where the capability of generating/creating value is clearly demonstrated,

2. the second, is to get in touch with other members of the community and benefiting from a positive contamination by sharing information and experiences.