Shore to Core design competition finalists announced

Shore to Core-still-blue
Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency announced today the finalist design proposals for the Shore to Core design competition as Living City Design Lab by Perkins+Will and Open Shore by Ecosistema Urbano. The competition drew urban designers and planners, architects and researchers from around the globe to help reimagine the downtown and waterfront areas and create a framework for its future development. The Shore to Core design competition aims to recreate the city’s urban core so its design is intelligent, flexible and responsive to the needs of residents and visitors, putting West Palm Beach on the map as a coastal city of the future. Areas of focus for the project include Flagler Drive, the downtown alleyways, the Great Lawn and the city’s Banyan parking garage. The teams met with community members in a public meeting on October 17 to gather information and discuss ideas, challenges and needs for the city.

The Living City Design Lab and Open Shore design teams provided frameworks of innovative design that prepare West Palm Beach to be more flexible and adaptive in the face of changing populations, economies, and rising sea levels. The finalists were selected in October by the competition jury, which reviewed 41 teams comprising 159 participants from 13 countries. The two design finalist teams will receive a $45,000 stipend from West Palm Beach to further develop their proposals. Before the final review, there will be a public exhibition of the design competition finalists in March 2017, when community members can provide input for the jury to consider. The winner of the design competition will be chosen following the final jury review in March 2017.

Happier by Design by the multidisciplinary team of Happy City Lab (Professor Jennifer Roe, Street Plans Collaborative, Space Syntax) was named the winning research proposal, which aims to identify ways that the urban environment affects our minds and bodies. Happier by Design offers metrics to analyze individuals’ relationships to the built environment in order to better inform future urban development. The winning team was selected from among 13 proposals. The research team will receive a $40,000 stipend from West Palm Beach to conduct their research process, and the implementation of the research plan and pilot study will take place in January 2017. An overview of the research project will also be a part of the public exhibition in March 2017.

All teams will work closely with the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and Van Alen Institute to further advance proposals. The city and West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency aim to work over the next several years to implement the designs throughout downtown and the waterfront.

“By weaving together intelligent technology, thoughtful social resiliency, and flexible design, the multidisciplinary Shore to Core teams can help West Palm Beach develop a strong and vibrant urban fabric that is resilient and adaptive to future social and economic change and ecological challenges,” said Jeri Muoio, Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach. “We look forward to moving into the implementation phase immediately after a winner of the design competition is selected.”

“The winning ideas bring us closer to understanding how we’re impacted by the cities we inhabit,” Van Alen Institute Executive Director David van der Leer said. “All three winning proposals present engaging and compelling interventions that challenge us to think beyond traditional design to consider how we are affected by the city as it grows and thrives along with us.”

The members of the finalist design and winning research teams are:

Living City Design Lab includes the Perkins+Will team of Associate Principal and Senior Designer Cesar Garcia-Pons (Miami), Senior Associate and Senior Urban Designer Cassie Branum (Atlanta), Principal and Global Resiliency Director Janice Barnes (New York City), Associate Principal Gerry Tierney (San Francisco) and Managing Principal W. Thomas Lavash (Washington DC) of WTL+a.

Open Shore includes the Madrid-based Ecosistema Urbano team of principal Belinda Tato, principal Jose Luis Vallejo, architect and urban designer Luisa Zancada, architect Jorge Toledo García, urban strategist Antonella Marlene Milano, architect and urban designer Marco Rizzetto, architect and urban designer Carlos León, sociologist Andrés Walliser and architect and civil engineer Constantino Hurtado.

Happier by Design includes principal Charles Montgomery of Happy City Lab (Vancouver), director Jennifer Roe of the Center for Design and Health at University of Virginia (Richmond), project director Sherryl Muriente of Street Plans Collaborative (Miami), project director Anthony Garcia of Street Plans Collaborative (Miami), director Anna Rose of Space Syntax (London), researcher Houssam Elokda of Happy City Lab (Halifax), Dana Wall of Street Plans Collaborative (Miami), and researcher Jacob Izenberg of Street Plans Collaborative (Miami).

Images | Courtesy of Van Alen Institute

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at