Urban Transformations: Designing the Symbiotic City

Less than 12 hours are left for the contest deadline.
Please visit the contest website for additional info.
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Competition Brief

Using some combination of diagrams, sketches, 2D and 3D drawings, and accompanied by an explanatory narrative, we would like you to explore and develop planning and design concepts, for transforming the city that you live in into a regenerative symbiotic city adapted to a climate-changing environment. Your design concepts should explore how you will address key environmental problems now associated with your city, and transform now ecologically destructive urban systems into regenerative, symbiotic systems. Please see the Transformations pages of SymbioticCities.net for more detail on what we think are the most important transformations required to facilitate the transformation of our cites from pathologically parasitic into regenerative symbiotic cities.

To attract as broad a range of ideas as possible, we invite you to approach your entry as an urban planning project, an urban design project, an architecture, landscape architecture or engineering project  – or any combination of these you think will best allow you to put forward your ideas most effectively. Most importantly, we are looking for you to generate smart, innovative, creative and inspiring ideas that will help move our cites and our species toward a regenerative symbiotic relationship with the ecosystems they are embedded in.

There are many possible explorations you could make, but the judges will be most interested in entries that show a good understanding of how cities can be more integrated with their local and regional ecosystems, how cities can be more adapted to a environment stressed by climate change; and how you develop innovative and creative strategies for realizing that integration.

In developing your planning and design concepts you will want to refer to theSymbioticCities.net Transformations and the associated reference material outlined in this website. As part of the narrative you will be writing to explain your planning and design concept(s), we would like you to refer to the types of transformations that your proposed design concepts will employ to move your city towards a regenerative symbiotic relationship with your city’s local and regional ecosystems.

One of the most important of these nine transformations is the development ofecosystem infrastructure that will facilitate regenerating ecosystems and the ecosystem services they produce. For the purposes of this competition, we would like you to assume that in the future, natural capital and the eco-system services it produces are recognized and valued by society, both economically and politically. As part of developing your submission narrative, you should include an explanation of the eco-system infrastructure incorporated into your project entry, and the associated ecosystem services produced, and why these would be valuable to the neighborhood or city.

This is an open competition for ideas about planning, design and policy interventions that address two or more Transformations that we see as integral to our transition towards Symbiotic Cities. Submitted ideas must be based in the city the participant lives in, and should directly address at least two of the following questions:

  1. How do your ideas move the city towards a zero-carbon economy?
  2. How do your ideas increase the ecosystems infrastructure?
  3. How do your ideas increase the mixed-use density of your city?
  4. How do your ideas provide for regenerative building fabric?
  5. How do your ideas increase the capacity of your city to produce its own sustainable food supply?
  6. How do your ideas increase the capacity of your city to provide for infinite water recycling?
  7. How do your ideas increase material and resource recycling?
  8. How do your ideas increase the capacity of your city to provide for zero-carbon mobility?
  9. What economic and political conditions will be required to implement your project?
  10. How do your ideas increase the capacity of your city to stabilize its population size?


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