In the 2016 Urban SOS competition “Fair Share”, multidisciplinary students teamed up to create solutions using sharing-economy technologies and tools that would allow for “more equitable access to resources, improve the built environment, and enrich the quality of life of urban residents”.
In Downtown Los Angeles, student finalist teams presented their proposals to a live audience and the 10-member jury — which included AECOM executive president Bill Hanway; Van Alen Institute executive director David van der Leer, Two Bit Circus executive director Leah Hanes, WeWork head of research & development Josh Emig, and other design, government, business, and tech professionals.
“This year’s finalist teams addressed some of the most pressing resilience challenges facing cities today, including mitigating economic and social impacts of the global refugee crisis, creating access to housing and jobs, providing healthy food to neighborhoods with limited food access deserts, and fostering connectivity to critical social and economic resources,” said Michael Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities, in a statement.
In the end, the jury awarded the grand prize to “First Class Meal” proposed by a team from Washington University in St. Louis, who will receive a cash prize and project implementation support from AECOM. The jury also awarded a second and third prize, and an honorable mention.
Check out the top entries below.
1ST PLACE: “First Class Mail”—Los Angeles, CA, U.S. by Irum Javed, Anu Samarajiva and Lanxi Zhang | Washington University in St. Louis
Project summary: First Class Meal “proposes reusing United States Postal Service (USPS) post offices slated for closure and their underutilized distribution network to help collect, store, and redistribute surplus food to neighborhoods with limited food access.”
2ND PLACE: “En Común(a)”—Quito, Ecuador by Mateo Fernandez-Muro (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) and Francisco Miranda (Parsons The New School for Design)
Project summary: Proposed for the Ecuadorian city of Quito, En Común(a) “creates a website in partnership with residents in dozens of the city’s communes to map needs and resources, and develop a new cooperative to promote local farmers in one of the city’s main public markets”.
3RD PLACE: “WELP (Waste-Help System)”—Durban, South Africa by Mari Smith, Vivian Ly, Lixin Wang, Kate Maxfield | Monash University
Project summary: The WELP (Waste-Help System) “connects households that want to dispose of bulk waste with waste collectors who earn income and gain access to temporary housing for removing the waste”.
HONORABLE MENTION: “The Living City”—Athens, Greece by Ho-Ting Liu (Harvard Graduate School of Design), Faranak Khas Ahmadi (UC Berkeley), Anduriña Espinoza (University of Oxford), Jenny Kyung Jin Lee (Columbia University)
Project summary: The Living City for Athens, Greece “brings together refugees, long-time residents, and tourists to activate abandoned buildings and vacant lots with pop-up restaurants and markets”.
All images courtesy Van Alen Institute/2016 Urban SOS Design Competition.
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