Civitas’ design and planning of Painted Prairie in Aurora, Colorado takes the Gold for ‘Community of the Year’ and ‘Best Landscape of a Community’ at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)’s The National Awards Competition

Aurora, Colorado — March 17, 2022 Painted Prairie, a new neighborhood in Aurora, Colorado, has been awarded Gold for Community of the Year and Best Landscape of a Community at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)’s annual awards competition. The neighborhood’s landscape and planning was ideated and completed by the internationally-recognized design firm, Civitas.

Painted Prairie won a total of seven awards at the NAHB’s most prestigious competition known as, The Nationals which were presented at the International Builder Show in February in Orlando, Florida.

Civitas’ master plan for Painted Prairie includes 30-acres of open space across seven parks, each featuring native landscapes and plants from the Colorado plains. With a community-wide emphasis on shared spaces, the parks will include playgrounds, dog parks, gathering spaces, trails, community gardens, and art installations. A central town center will also include outdoor gathering spaces for concerts, movie nights, and markets, along with a mix of retail, restaurants, and hotels.

“The team’s commitment to sustainable development, community building, and environmental stewardship create a deep and long-lasting sense of community that differentiates Painted Prairie from conventional suburban neighborhoods and sets new standards for future development,” said Civitas Principal, Craig Vickers, RLA. “Our approach is inspired by decades-old, often pre-war urban neighborhoods, where you find eclectic house sizes and styles, diverse demographics, walkable amenities, and green spaces coming together in an intentional-yet-organic way. This integration sparks a real sense of participation and pride, and generates long-term resilience – creating places where people want to live and stay.”

Through landscape design and art throughout Painted Prairie, Civitas tells stories of what’s native and what’s been brought to Colorado, and how people have connected with the land – the prairie – over generations. For example, in one of the parks that features a shade pavilion and barbecue amenity, a local artist has been commissioned to carve abstract images of native grasses, antelope and prairie chickens, and other native symbology into squares of Coreten steel, resembling a Colorado quilt block pattern.

painted prairie photo 2

Painted Prairie © Civitas

“To be recognized locally, and now nationally as the Community of the Year is a tremendous honor,” says Chris Fellows, President of Painted Prairie. “Out of nearly 1,200 entries to take home seven awards at a competition of this caliber is incredible. We are extremely honored and humbled to be named Community of the Year and to bring this best-in-class community to the City of Aurora – and the state of Colorado for our current and future residents.”

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About Civitas

Founded in 1984 with the core purpose of “creating healthier cities,” Civitas is an idea-based practice of urban designers, architects, and landscape architects engaged in strategic planning for urban change and project design for built works. Curbed has recognized Civitas as one of five practitioners “who are putting the public back in public space.” Fast Company has acknowledged Civitas in its Innovation by Design Awards, the Canadian Institute of Planners “Great Public Space,” and an Excellence on the Waterfront Award from the nonprofit Waterfront Center. A consultancy and a design studio, Civitas advises on a wide range of strategies for re-imagining urban life and places, working in U.S. cities coast to coast and around the world. For additional information, visit

About Painted Prairie

Painted Prairie is an award-winning, neo-traditional master-planned community in the Denver Metro area featuring eight world-class builders. In 2021, Painted Prairie secured the MAME Community of the Year, and in 2022 the neighborhood won national recognition as the NAHB’s Community of the Year at The Nationals competition. Hundreds of residents are already happily calling Painted Prairie home and with more residential options and a state-of-the-art Town Center coming soon, this community is taking the northeast market to new heights. Painted Prairie is situated across the street from the Gaylord Rockies Resort and is located halfway between Anschutz-Fitzsimons and Denver International Airport, with easy access to the A-Line rail, E470, DIA, 56th Avenue, I-70, Downtown Denver, and I-225. To learn more about Painted Prairie, visit

About The Nationals

The Nationals showcases the most exciting trends in New Homes Sales and Marketing throughout North America. The competition honors the best in the building industry – including home builders, developers, associates, and consultants – for their determination, integrity, creativity, and endurance. A diverse panel of industry professionals selected the 2022 Gold Award winners from almost 1,200 entries.