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An open international ideas contest – featuring a €7,000 prize fund – is seeking ‘lively and attractive’ public realm interventions which could yield long-term benefits for cities around the world (Deadline: 18 March)
The competition – organised by TerraViva Competitions – invites designers to draw up ‘innovative strategies, original ideas and unconventional concepts’ for new inclusive and accessible public spaces such as parks, streets, playgrounds and squares.
The project aims to identify a range of tactical short-term solutions which could be deployed to achieve long-term urban aims such as encouraging well-being, resilience, sustainability and a sense of community.
According to the brief: ‘The challenge of this competition is to reinterpret what is commonly known as traditional public spaces, such as parks, streets, playgrounds and squares, with a strategical vision capable of providing them with new features of multifunctionality and flexibility.
‘Tactical design can be considered as an instrument for carrying out experimental projects of high communicative value, aimed at improving public spaces or even creating new ones from scratch. Today, the challenge is to design inclusive and accessible spaces, capable of reflecting the diversity of the infinite categories of potential users and encouraging citizens to “Live Together”.’
The latest competition comes shortly after TerraViva held an earlier contest to transform a disused Italian hydroplane base into a new community centre. Paulina Pawlikowska and Paulina Górecka from Poland won the €3,000 top prize with a glazed concept featuring a series of internal terraces.
The Tactical Urbanism Now competition invites students, architects, designers, urbanists, engineers, artists, makers and activists to ‘think out of the box’ and imagine new urban spaces of any scale which guarantee ‘permanence, interaction and variety of uses.’ Submissions must include two digital A2 panels and up to 250 words of written description.
Judges will include Arturo Mc Clean of Barcelona-based Miralles Tagliabue EMBT; Sojung Lee | from Seoul-based OBBA; Hannah Klug of Lima-based IntuyLab; Francesco Garofalo of Openfabric in Rotterdam; and Nathalie Eldan Paris’ Atelier Nea.
The overall winner will receive a €3,000 top prize while a second prize of €2,000 and third prize of €1,000 will also be awarded along with four ‘golden mentions’ each worth €250.
Q&A with Hannah Klug
The executive director of IntuyLab and jury member discusses her ambitions for the competition
Why is it interesting for you to be part of the jury panel of the international Tactical Urbanism Now ideas competition to rethink the future of public spaces with innovative transformations?
At intuyLab we believe in the collective transformation of urban territories in order that we can all live in more human environments. For this, tactical urbanism is a powerful tool to encourage the urban community – including civil society and the public and private sectors – to collectively rethink and explore new possibilities for inhabiting public space.
By prioritising cars over pedestrians, many cities have lost their human scale. Nevertheless, in recent years we have returned to value proximity and walkability in our neighbourhoods in order to make them inclusive for all human and non-human beings. Facing the global Covid-19 crisis, the role of public space has become more significant and especially for cities ‘under construction’ like Lima. This competition is an opportunity to start a discussion between young professionals from different countries, cultures and realities and to show the full spectrum of innovative ideas we have as a global planning community to improve our cities.
What is your vision for future of urban public spaces, and what would you like to see in submissions to the competition?
IntuyLab seeks to build cities in which humans, fauna and flora coexist in an empathetic way, generating a balance between the built environment and nature to create a space for recreation and fertile encounters for all citizens, especially including vulnerable social groups, such as women, children, and people with disabilities.
As part of the jury, we would like to see projects thought through from the community perspective and closely related to the local context. This means ideas that show new ways of intervening in public space – ephemerally or permanently – and exploring the potential of Tactical Urbanism as a democratic city making tool. Proposals should demonstrate sufficient flexibility to be able to react and adapt to social dynamics. Creative, experimental ideas that go beyond the already ‘known’ and that show new ways of inhabiting public space – while also being feasible to be implemented by local authorities and communities – are encouraged.
What role do you see this competition playing in the development of new local, international and underrepresented architectural and design talents, and helping to address the underrepresentation and engagement of many communities in our interpretation of the built environment?
This competition provides the opportunity to exchange the ideas of young city makers on a global scale and thus build a global community interested in improving our cities. It will also build a catalogue of diverse projects that can be used by governments or planners. Based on our own experience in tactical urbanism we know that the best impact is achieved through interdisciplinary work, taking into account that we do not only design spaces but places for a heterogeneous community. Finally, the UN sustainable development goals should also help young planners guide their projects.
Are there any recent similar competitions or projects, either locally or internationally, which have delivered impressive results?
Regarding the topic of tactical urbanism, we would like to mention the PlacemakingX movement which has already brought together a global community of young city makers in order to share innovative ideas for projects on a neighbourhood scale. In addition, the Urban95 project of the BvL Foundation is an international project with an interdisciplinary approach that realises small scale interventions combined with social programs focused on early childhood.
How do you see projects at TerraViva evolving in the future and what competitions will you hold next?
Apart from building a large community of young designers interested in sustainable urban development, an interesting future topic could be the exploration of the relationships between the built environment and nature. We are convinced that future competitions should be maintained on the global level, having the option of interdisciplinary teams and collaborations between municipalities and young planners.
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