The selection panel for the 2017 International Award for Public Art (IAPA) met in Shanghai on 27 and 28 May 2016 to review more than 140 case studies of art-led place making from around the globe. Out of the 140 case studies, 35 projects were shortlisted. Of these, one project from each continent was recognised by the jurors as worthy of the very highest commendation. The seven most highly commented projects include:


Remade Project of Dazhalan and Baitasi in Beijing

Zhangke, Huali, etc.
Multiple Locations – Beijing, China

Zhang and his team embarked on the Micro Hutong Renewal project to highlight the potential in these Hutong neighbourhoods. The project transformed some of Beijing's ageing hutongs and historic buildings into hubs of activity. It was presented in the Beijing Design Week 2014 and Venice Architecture Biennale 2016.

If you were to work here...

Peter Robinson
Multiple Locations – Christchurch and Lyttleton, New Zealand

Commissioned for the Auckland Triennial 2012, If You Were to Work Here... is a site-specific installation where hundreds of people from the Auckland public come together and join each other to help co-creating the work. It is a sophisticated and open-ended project that sought to engage people in an understanding of their environments and how they respond to those environments. The project was curated by the internationally acclaimed curator Hou Hanru.


Multiple Locations – Copenhagen, Denmark

Superkilen is a half a mile long urban space winding through one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in Denmark. It has a collection of global found objects that come from 60 different nationalities of people. It is a park that supports diversity, and is a contemporary, urban version of a universal garden.

Théâtre Source

Philip Aguirre y Otegui
Multiple Locations – Douala, Cameroon

Théatre Source is an artwork that incorporates a natural spring in the slum of Cameroon’s largest city – Douala. It is a functional and aesthetic whole comprising a laundry station, open-air theatre, and gathering place. The work examined the social meaning of art in public space within the postcolonial context of urbanisation and water issues in contemporary African cities.

Pimp My Carroça

Thiago Mundano
Multiple Locations – São Paulo,Brazil

Pimp My Carroca is a social, cultural and environmental project from Sao Paulo. It has taken hundreds of waste pickers out of invisibility through art and collaborative action, pimping their waste carts and giving more dignity and security to our environmental agents. Waste cart operators are often marginalised in society despite the necessity of their work in keeping Sao Paulo clean.

Waiting for Godot in New Orleans

Paul Chan
Multiple Locations – New Orleans, USA

Waiting for Godot in New Orleans is a project by Paul Chan, who is a Hong Kong-born American artist, combining the recent history of New Orleans and the work of Samuel Beckett. The artist, with the backing of the art organization Creative Time, turned the city into a stage of ephemeral public art: five gratis productions of Waiting for Godot were performed by the Classical Theatre of Harlem in the flood-ravaged and mostly abandoned neighbourhoods of Gentilly and the Lower Ninth Ward.

Gavkhouni Wetland

Fereshteh Alamshah
Isfahan, Iran

The artist created the artwork in response to  the landscape and staged performances together with local people in a drought affected lake in the Gavkhooni wetland. Due to the human interference in this area such as dam building, water transition planning, and land use alterations lakes, ponds and wetland areas across Iran have been drying out.