This year, we sought integrated design, planning, environmental restoration and engineering responses that address border, gateway and edge/fringe conditions in cities worldwide. Proposals were to address urban sites currently facing chronic liveability challenges that are largely the result of a city’s location on a physical, political, cultural or economic border. Proposals were to have been implementable.
In addition to a cash prize for the winning team, we have engaged a local organization to help advance the proposed project. Responses could range from a strategic framework to a surgical micro-response, from a whole landscape system to a single piece of architecture. Entrants needed to demonstrate a holistic and sustainable approach. Judges valued creativity and innovation, but responses must have been fundamentally feasible. At stake was USD$15,000 as a cash prize, as well as USD$25,000 to help see the winning scheme implemented. For full submission requirements and competition details, download the competition brief.
The Urban SOS program fosters cross-disciplinary thinking in urban problem-solving and design education while helping to make a real difference for a community in need.
This year's competition centered on issues related to physical, political, cultural, ecological, or economic borders, and drew entries from 118 universities in 41 countries around the world. Slums in Nairobi, Kenya; the ecology and economics of sewage in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; the need for green terraces for the Bogotá-Soacha border in Colombia — these were the "frontiers" that the top three submissions sought to improve.
A master jury of leading design and urban experts voted for the winning entry after viewing presentations by the three finalist teams at the Center for Architecture on Jan. 16.
"We are committed to supporting the development of young talent," said AECOM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John M. Dionisio. "Initiatives such as our Urban SOS student competition provide a platform for promoting innovative approaches to some of the critical challenges facing the urbanized world. All of the finalists deserve congratulations for their inspirational presentations."
The jury included Bill Hanway, executive vice president, buildings places, AECOM; Donna Walcavage and Chris Choa, principals, design planning, AECOM; Rick Bell, FAIA, executive director at the Center for Architecture; Galia Solomonoff, founder and creative director, Solomonoff Architecture Studio and assistant professor at Colombia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and Alexandra Hardiman, director of mobile products at The New York Times.
"All the entrants identified critical ideas and solutions to the challenges facing their specific communities," said Bill Hanway, a founder of the competition and jury chair. "We felt that the project 'Unslumming Kibera' best illustrated a solution driven from the team's personal experience in that community. The heart of an informal community, no matter how small, becomes the inspirational driver for change."
Winning team members Adam Broidy (California College of the Arts), Jack Campbell Clause (Leeds Metropolitan University), Jamilla Harper (University of Nairobi) and April Schneider (University of Illinois Chicago) received a US$5,000 cash prize. An in-kind donation of cash and AECOM technical assistance totaling US$25,000 will go to helping realize their project.
Sara Navrady (Delft University of Technology) and her project "Sewage Ecologies/Economies" was recognized with a US$5,000 cash prize. Juan Camilo Pinzon (Universidad de los Andes) and Guillermo Umana (Macquarie University) with their "Green Terraces" project were also recognized with a US $5,000 cash prize.
We’re thrilled to announce that our finalist teams have been selected after a series of internal judging sessions involving AECOM designers, planners and engineers around the world:
Team 1: Unslumming Kibera
Adam Broidy, USA: California College of the Arts, USA, MBA Design Strategy
Jack Campbell Clause, Kenya: Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, MA Landscape Architecture
Jamilla Harper, USA: University of Nairobi, Kenya, MA Development Studies
April Schneider, USA: University of Illinois Chicago, USA, MA Urban Planning
Project site: Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya
Team 2: Green Terraces
Juan Camilo Pinzon, Colombia: Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, BE Civil Engineering
Guillermo Umana, Colombia: Macquarie University, Australia, BA Urban Planning
Project site: Bogotá-Soacha border, Colombia
Team 3: Sewage Ecologies/Economies
Sara Navrady, Canada/UK: Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, MSc Architecture
Project site: Riberas del Bravo, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
The finalist teams will present their schemes before a distinguished jury at a crit session open to the public at the Center for Architecture in New York at 5 o’clock in the evening of January 16, 2013. An exhibit of their work will follow at the Center.