The Boston Society of Architects (BSA) seeks submissions for a national design and planning competition that will examine the role that density can play in creating livable communities in cities and suburbs. The concepts that emerge from the competing submissions will be a key feature of a national conference, Density: Myth and Reality, to be held in Boston in September. The conference will focus on alternatives to sprawl: building, working, and living in higher density communities.
"Auto-dependant residential development and the commercial and retail construction that accompanies low-density development is creating growing traffic congestion, degrading our physical environment, straining local governments that must provide infrastructure and services to support it, and undermining our sense of place and community," said BSA President David Dixon FAIA. "Well-designed density can be the key to creating new, walkable environments that enhance livability for many communities."
Competition to explore design ideas for three sites The competition challenges entrants to design communities that balance density and livability at one of three sites that are emblematic of key mixed-use development opportunities throughout the Boston area: "found land" over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston's downtown Chinatown neighborhood; under-used land adjacent to the commuter rail station in downtown Gloucester; and undeveloped land near the terminus of a re-instituted commuter rail line in Kingston, a rapidly growing suburban community.
While the sites each have, and were selected for, their distinctive regional characteristics and challenges, entrants can offer solutions that have national significance, describing ways to make urban areas, or more compactly-designed development in suburban areas, competitive with low-density sprawl development.
A detailed description of each site including a brief history of the site, demographic information, a description of existing retail and other uses on or near the site, and traffic conditions and a range of parking needs will be included with the registration package.
Competitors may enter submissions for more than one site but must submit a separate entry for each. Entries for each site will be judged separately, and prizes will be awarded separately for each site.
Eligibility, Fees and Prizes
Anyone may compete in this BSA-sponsored competition. The entry fee for each submission is $100 for AIA members, $150 for non-members; and $25 for students. At the discretion of the jury, a prize of $10,000 may be awarded for the winning proposal for each of the three sites. The jury will include distinguished and nationally-recognized architects, urban designers, journalists working in the field, and developers.
Registration and Important Dates
The deadline for registration is March 14. To register, entrants must send a check, made payable to the Boston Society of Architects, by March 14th. A note of intent to participate, along with the check, should be mailed to:
Boston Society of Architects
52 Broad Street
Boston, MA 02109
Detailed program and site briefs will be distributed by the BSA via CD-ROM upon receipt of registration and payment. Submissions are due on May 16. Winning entrants will be notified on July 1 and winning submissions will be exhibited on September 12, when architects and urban designers convene in Boston as part of the three-day conference on density.
The conditions and capacity of each of the three sites vary, but the program goal is to fully utilize each site. Entries will be judged on their success in building to a sufficient density to support an active community life, while designing for an appealing, livable environment.
The program for each site anticipates:
* Housing: The principal program element is mixed-income housing, in a variety of unit types and sizes to accommodate families, individuals, and other living arrangements of different sizes and incomes.
* Retail: Retail uses that serve residents of the site, and activate the development by bringing in people from the surrounding areas beyond the site, are appropriate to differing degrees on each site.
* Parking: While each site is near public transit, adequate parking, arranged in a way that minimizes its impact on the site, is crucial to the economic success of mixed-use dense development, and ultimately contributes to its livability.
* Public realm: Streets, parks, and other well-designed open space, of a type and scale appropriate to the different sites, set the civic framework in each development.
Registration Deadline: March 14, 2003
Submission Deadline: May 16, 2003
Open to: All
Entry Fee: US$100 for AIA members; US$150 for non-members; US$25 for students.
Awards: See Above