National Medal of Arts

Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. is a visionary in the field of urban design and the creation of livable cities. In nine terms as the mayor of Charleston, Mayor Riley has drawn on and nurtured the city’s historic and artistic resources to reinvigorate it, economically and culturally, setting a national standard for urban revitalization in the process. His success spurred him to create, with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mayors' Institute on City Design in 1986, which has brought more than 800 mayors together with acclaimed architects, urban planners, developers, and others to help transform communities through design and stewardship.