Special Awards change from year to year and depend on the theme of the competition. The awards, as well as the criteria upon which each city will be measured, is determined closer to the date of the competition. Typically, the types of special awards the students can win are similar to the below.
- Most Environmentally Friendly City: Most innovative planning for preservation the environment while enjoying a sustainable life.
- Most Organized City: Best overall use of zones, transportation, and resource management that will allow maximum return for quality of life issues.
- Most Sustainable City: City that best incorporates sustainability and an integrated approach to managing resources and infrastructure systems.
- Most Creative Use of Materials: Most use of innovative materials, construction techniques, and overall construction of design.
- Most Innovative Power Generation System: Innovative and efficient use of cutting-edge technology, alternative generation, and renewable resources in energy systems.
- Most Innovative Design of Infrastructure Systems: Most efficient design if infrastructure systems including those for consumption, agriculture, industry, recreation, safety, communication, data, and transportation.
- Best Economy: Most efficient use of economics to influence urban issues such as crime, education, public transit, housing, and local government finance.
- Best Transportation System: Creative design of transportation system that allows both mobility and transport of goods and services.
- Best Use of Engineering Principles: Best use of the ideas, rules, or concepts that need to be kept in mind when solving an engineering problem.
- Best Futuristic City: Use of futuristic engineering concepts into city's communications, energy, or transportation systems.
- Best Zoning: The design that employs the best zoning practices, taking into consideration the high standards used by zoning boards to help protest the public's safety and welfare.
- Most Accessible City: Most Accessible Design for people with disabilities, the elderly, and others with mobility impairments. Design that accommodates the most innovative systems (e.g., transportation, public rights of way) for a community.
- Safest City: Best use of systems and management of resources to ensure the safety and welfare of its residents.
- Best Risk Management: Most innovative approaches to managing risk in an urban environment, including those to manage disasters and recover from extreme weather events.
- Healthiest City: Best use of systems and management of resources to ensure the health and welfare of its residents and what specifically will guarantee for them an improved quality of life.