The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has released the short list of finalist teams in the twelfth annual ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. The four graduate-level student teams – representing Georgia Tech University, Harvard University, University of Maryland, and the University of Texas, Austin – will advance to the final round of competition in April. The competition is based on a hypothetical situation in which the site owners, working together as the Sulphur Dell Development Corporation, have asked for a proposal that transforms the historic Sulphur Dell neighborhood. The owner’s request is made with an understanding of the market and nonmarket factors at play in building healthy places and of the value proposition of building and operating in ways that promote health.
In addition to the guidelines stipulated by the site owners, it was requested that all proposals be conscious of other stakeholders since there are a number of either historic or new developments that are not intended to be redeveloped in the surrounding area. Student teams were challenged to best determine how to integrate those existing sites, while exploiting their assets in order to create more value for their proposed site.
The development schemes from the finalist teams are:
Georgia Tech University: “Uptown Nashville” seeks to rebuild the current district identity to create a new and improved Sulphur Dell District. With the stadium development and other existing and proposed amenities acting as a catalyst, Uptown Nashville intends to leverage existing and future amenities to foster the creation of a healthy, diverse, and profitable community.
Harvard University: The “Sulphur Dell Market District” is a healthy lifestyle community that catalyzes the revitalization of the city of Nashville and is prototypical of resilient urbanism for cities of a similar size. The proposal is based on a landscape framework of layered strategies of ecology, mobility and food, along with creating the conditions for a diverse and resilient urban district that will continue to change and mature over time.
University of Maryland: The “Chords” development proposes a partnership between the existing private owners and the State of Tennessee. The design captures the experiences of a diverse group of people that are brought together by regional connectors, culture, living and fitness “strings.”
University of Texas, Austin: “Greenheart Village” establishes a new model of urban living, initiating the rebranding of Nashville as an active, healthy, and engaged community. Greenheart Village utilizes adaptive infrastructure to respond to environmental, social, and economic changes, fostering an environment that encourages adaptation as people engage their local surroundings and a changing world.
Eleven teams were also selected for honorable mention. The jury commended Ohio State University with “The Agora” for its exploration of a bold move to add waterfront value; the University of Pennsylvania with “Nesting Music” for its vision of a music theme; a joint University of California, Berkeley/University of Georgia team with “Geo-Connector” for its creative approach to food opportunities; the University of Pennsylvania with “The Basins” for its landscape approach; a joint Harvard University/Columbia University team with “Sulphur Dell Revival Corridor” for its waterfront and corridor approach; the University of Michigan with “Flood Harvest” for its water catchment storage and flood mitigation strategy; a joint Kent State University/Cleveland State University/Case Western Reserve University team with “Echosystem” for a its financial plan; the Université Laval with “ecotone” for placemaking; the University of Texas with “The Dell Flex” for its diagrammatic analysis and flood strategies; the University of Miami with “Infields” for its urban agriculture and farming strategies; and Kent State University/Case Western Reserve University with “Second Nature” for its creative development of a financial scenario.
In the final phase of the 2014 competition, which concludes on April 3, each of the final four teams will be given the opportunity to expand their original schemes and respond in more detail.
More information available from ULI