For the sixth consecutive year, this international competition challenges students in all disciplines to focus on a real-world urban design problem. In the spirit of the competition’s namesake, Edmund N. Bacon (head of Philadelphia's City Planning Commission from 1949-1970), the program focuses on encouraging multi-disciplinary, visionary ideas for our urban future.
INTERSECT: What Happens When Transportation Corridors and Cities Collide? When transportation corridors such as highways and rail lines meet dense urban areas, choices must be made about how to balance the needs of the transportation modes and the lively city it intersects. Across the world, cities have found innovative solutions for addressing issues relating to large-scale urban transportation infrastructure. Recently in the U.S. cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Minneapolis have transformed highways into urban boulevards. Boston buried Interstate 93 in the famous “Big Dig,” but at a huge cost. Other cities have worked to bridge highways and rail corridors that separate downtowns from waterfronts. With international precedent for design solutions, the Center for Architecture challenges the next generation of urban thinkers to propose novel solutions to integrate Philadelphia’s major transportation corridors into its urban fabric.
Part 1: East (2011 Competition) Philadelphia’s I-95 / CSX Corridor Interstate 95 on the Eastern edge of Philadelphia is due to be demolished and rebuilt within the next several years, as it is nearing the end of its designed life. Further complicating the urban fabric in this area of the city is a lightly used but important freight rail line (owned and operated by CSX) which still weaves around the highway, its surrounding streets, and neighborhoods. How should the traffic, both passenger and freight, that currently flows along this major North/South corridor be addressed in a newly built Interstate solution? Competition boundaries: The I-95 transit corridor between the Ben Franklin Bridge to the North and the Walt Whitman Bridge to the South.
Part 2: West (2012 Competition) Philadelphia’s I-76 / Amtrak Corridor Amtrak’s main corridor through Philadelphia lies just outside Center City, on the Western bank of the Schuylkill River, passing through Philadelphia’s iconic 30th Street Station. Wrapping around the station and hugging the Western bank of the Schuylkill River, Interstate 76 provides the city with one of its most heavily used entries and exits for passenger vehicles. What opportunities are there for reimagining this complex hub of transit and its integration with the entire city? Competition Boundaries: The 1-76 transit corridor between West Girard Avenue to the North and Grays Ferry Avenue to the South.
Format: INTERSECT will take place over two years, focusing on one of Philadelphia’s major intersections of transit and city in each year. Students are encouraged to submit entries in both years, and special consideration will be given to entries which acknowledge the issues to be solved in the other part of the competition. Students are not required to submit entries both years to be considered for a prize. Entries from multi-disciplinary teams representing a variety of departments and stakeholders, including perhaps designers, architects, planners, public policy makers, economists, MBAs, or others are strongly encouraged. Individuals and teams may pre-register for Part 1 of the competition until 11:59pm EST on September 8, 2011 via this web form: http://mcaf.ee/0f3a4. A link to the full competition material will be emailed to pre-registered teams on Friday, September 9, 2011. Electronically submitted entries will be due by Friday, September 30, 2011 at 11:59pm EST.
First Prize is $5,000, and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in spring 2012. The competition is open to students of all disciplines registered at a college or university during the duration of the competition. Unlike previous years, submissions will only be accepted electronically.