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News 11 nov 2022

Thomas Rau receives prestigious ULI Germany Urban Innovation Award

Thomas M. Rau has received the prestigious Urban Land Institute Germany Urban Innovation Award on 10 November at a ceremony held in Berlin. Established in 2005, the ULI Awards recognize individuals for their future-oriented, sustainable thinking and action in five categories. The award was previously won by architects David Chipperfield and Prof. Werner Sobek, among others.

Thomas Rau receives prestigious ULI Germany Urban Innovation Award

Sabine Georgi, Managing Director of the ULI in Germany: Never before has the built environment been so much in the focus of the general and not just the professional public. And this precisely offers a great opportunity. The real estate industry is at the centre of events and at the same time part of the change. That is why we award outstanding personalities for their special level of distinctive foresight, strong sense of responsibility, entrepreneurial thinking and action, as well as their consistent commitment to preserving the quality of life in our cities. 

Jury member Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer paid particular tribute to Rau’s pioneering work with Madaster as well as his valuable public mediation and educational work through the book Material Matters: ‘In the Urban Innovation category we award the architect, author and entrepreneur Thomas M. Rau. With Madaster, the cadastre for materials and products, he has created a digital platform that is both an innovative and contemporary connection machine. The fact that it collects and connects data and information is only its smallest merit. More importantly it connects principles: circular environmental thinking with circular economic thinking, digital thinking with sustainability thinking; and above all, it connects this thinking with direct action by connecting people, tasks and disciplines. Madaster is a pioneering platform for the future of sustainable building and a prime example of how the phrase ‘interdisciplinarity’ becomes concrete collaboration. The fact that Thomas Rau, with his programmatically titled book Material Matters, is also doing valuable public mediation and educational work, only makes him more worthy of an award in the eyes of the jury.’

Thomas M. Rau, co-founder of Madaster, Turntoo and founder of RAU Architects: ‘Waste is material without an identity. Madaster documents, records and archives the identity of materials on a data platform. Materials with an identity never become waste, hence Madaster eliminates waste. Receiving the ULI Germany Leadership Award shows us that this is the only way towards a new building culture.’

All 2022 Award winners

  • Young Leader: Leopold Spenner (CEO) and Dr. Robert Meyer (CTO), both co-founders of Alcemy
  • Urban Innovation: Thomas M. Rau, co-founder of Madaster, Turntoo and founder of RAU Architects
  • City Planning: Prof. Dr. (Univ. Florenz) Elisabeth Merk, Chief City Architect, Munich
  • Real Estate: Florian Reiff, Senior Managing Director, Country Head Germany Tishman Speyer
  • Lifetime Award: Jan Bettink FRICS

For the ULI Germany Leadership Awards, the jury submits its nominations in advance and decides in a joint session who will receive the award, it is not possible for the award winners to apply.

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is a global, membership-led research and education organization with over 45,000 members dedicated to sharing issues related to the sustainable development and use of cities and all real estate issues.

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