Every design project has elements that make it unique. However, some stand out as exceptional. Fast Company surveyed the field and put together a list of the top twelve most innovative urban design and architecture projects, along with a handful of honorable mentions that represent where the future is headed.

Every year, Fast Company’s Innovation By Design Awards honor the best design in business, from products to buildings to UX. This year, we received more than 4,300 entries—a record—and the 22 winners and 483 honorees, selected by a roster of experts from across the design world, represent the best work from an immensely competitive group.

Together, they paint a picture of design as an agent for positive change in an uncertain world, from a project that makes books more accessible to shoes that can be indefinitely recycled. See the 22 winners below, and click through the links to browse all of the honorees from each category. We’re honored to recognize this work as the best of the best, and hope it inspires you as it does us.

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