AMES, Iowa — Brian H. Hurd, director of community planning and implementation for Rise Community Development, Inc., in St. Louis, is a recipient of the 2021 Design Achievement Award presented by the Iowa State University College of Design.

The award recognizes outstanding creative and professional achievements of alumni in all the college’s disciplines, which include architecture, art and design, community and regional planning, graphic design, industrial design, integrated studio arts, integrated visual arts, interdisciplinary design, interior design, landscape architecture, sustainable environments and urban design.

Hurd, originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and now of St. Louis, received a master of community and regional planning from Iowa State in 1997. He will be honored during Homecoming at the ISU Alumni Association’s 90th Honors and Awards Ceremony at 1:15 p.m. CDT Friday, Oct. 22, in Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building, Iowa State Center, and livestreamed online. A dessert reception will follow. The ceremony and reception both are free and open to the public.

A leader at the center of racial equity planning, development and trauma-informed community building, Hurd is sought after to provide training, technical assistance and real estate development services to a wide range of clients. As the director of community planning and implementation for Rise, Hurd helps the organization bring together nonprofits, banks, foundations, institutions and government to make successful neighborhood revitalization possible. He is also an administrator of Rise CDFI, Inc., which provides loans and business support services to minority contractors, developers and businesses.

Hurd extends his passion for equitable community planning and development as a field instructor for Washington University in St. Louis, where he supervises social work students with a concentration in social and economic development. Also an adjunct professor for WUSTL’s University College, he teaches a class on planning sustainable and racially equitable urban communities.

Before relocating to St. Louis and joining Rise in 2003, Hurd was a senior city planner for Norfolk, Virginia, where he specialized in planning functions including housing, transportation, and community and economic development.

Hurd received a bachelor of arts in organizational communications from Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1992 and holds a University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellor’s Certificate in Planning and Zoning. He is a certified Housing Development Finance Professional and a Certified HOME Program Regulations Specialist. He is an active member of the American Planning Association and Urban Land Institute.

Hurd serves on several St. Louis area boards and commissions, including Alpha Terrace Development Corporation, East Side Aligned, Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority – St. Louis County, Missouri, STL VentureWorks, Inc. and U.S. Green Building Council Missouri Gateway Chapter. He served as president of the Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., from 2014–2017, and participates in the chapter’s Alpha Mentoring Program for young Black males ages 6–18, which he created in 2011. He was a member of the ISU Department of Community and Regional Planning’s Planning Advisory Council from 2007–2010.

For his project management work with Rise, Hurd received the 2018 Outstanding Plan Making Award, 2020 Outstanding Plan Implementation Award and 2020 Dwight F. Davis Outstanding Planning Advocate Award from the American Planning Association Missouri Chapter-Illinois Chapter St. Louis Metro Section. Hurd was also a consultant on the city of Ferguson, Missouri’s “OurFerguson2040 Comprehensive Plan” adopted in 2020. He is a best-selling author with his 2020 book, Dream It! Plan It! Be It! A Playbook for Today’s Youth.


Brian Hurd, Rise Community Development, 314-333-7012, brian@risestl.org
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, 515-294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu