FUTURE GROUND Finalists announced

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Recently, the Van Alen Institute and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) kicked off the Future Ground competition in New Orleans, announcing the three finalist teams and launching the initial research phase with a series of events around the city.

A jury of national design and policy leaders selected the teams from a pool of more than 180 individuals from 17 countries around the world. The finalist teams include architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, lawyers, brownfield experts, and community development and finance specialists from New Orleans and six other cities in the U.S. and Canada. Read the press release→

To get their work started, the teams gathered for a workshop co-sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council on the opportunities and challenges of vacant land reuse; heard presentations from the Futures Team on the impact of changes in population, sea level, and market demand on New Orleans in the coming decades; and joined city officials, nonprofit leaders, and other local stakeholders in breakout sessions to identify key issues for the teams to address in the coming months.

The teams will meet again in New Orleans in mid-December to present their initial findings from a seven-week Design Research phase, which will include mappings, interviews, and other analyses of existing conditions. We can’t wait to see what they produce!

Future Ground is the first competition launched as part of Van Alen’s Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape, a multi-year initiative of competitions, research, and public programs exploring how the form and organization of the built environment influence our need for escape.

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Team LEX

Team LEX
Led by Kristi Cheramie of Ohio State University with Jacob Boswell, Mattijs van Maasakkers, and Jennie Miller. Team LEX proposes The New Orleans Land Exchange (NOLEX), a projective framework designed to move vacant parcels from tax deficiency to productive lands in order to protect public health and safety.

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Team PaD

Team PaD
Led by James Dart of the New Orleans-based design firm DARCH with Deborah Gans, LoriAnn Girvan, and Marc Norman. Team PaD will explore policy as a design tool, considering alternative property, development, legal, and fiscal structures to reconsider the city’s established design policies in the context of its collective post-Katrina capital of ideas.

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Team Stoss

Team Stoss
Led by Chris Reed, Scott Bishop, and Amy Whitesides of the Boston-based design firm STOSS Landscape Urbanism with Ann Yoachim, Byron Stigge, Jonathan Tate, Kate Kennen, Liz Ogbu, Jill Desimini, Teresa Lynch, and Michael Brady. Team Stoss will focus on developing strategies for New Orleans that build on local energies; that leverage the ecological, infrastructural, and civic values of landscape; and that catalyze new social, cultural, environmental, and economic dynamics throughout the city.

More information at the FUTURE GROUNDS website