The Final Four: Teams From Harvard, Maryland, NC State/UNC, And Penn Are Finalists In 2010 ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition

Students Craft Plans to Revitalize San Diego Site; $50,000 Top Prize Goes to Winner

For more information, contact Trisha Riggs at 202/624-7086; E-mail: priggs@uli.org

WASHINGTON (March 8, 2010) — Teams from Harvard University, the University of Maryland, College Park, North Carolina State University/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Pennsylvania have been selected as the finalists for the eighth annual ULI (Urban Land Institute) Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. The finalist teams were charged with the design of a development site in the city of San Diego.

A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team; and an additional $30,000 will be split among the remaining finalist teams. Nearly 660 students comprising 132 teams from 48 universities in the U.S. and Canada applied to compete in the competition.

The interdisciplinary teams of students were challenged with creating a design and development proposal for a 73.5 acre site in East Village in downtown San Diego. East Village is one of eight distinct neighborhoods that comprise a downtown area that spans 1,450 acres bound by Interstate 5 and the San Diego Bay. Students were challenged with developing a transformative vision in redeveloping the site to give East Village an identity and trigger broader redevelopment throughout the neighborhood. The students’ schemes needed to incorporate the highest and best sustainable use, new economic development activities, and evidence of market support for their development activities – all fused with financial justification for their design decisions.

The competition is based on a hypothetical situation in which San Diego’s Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC), acting on behalf of the San Diego Redevelopment Agency, has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of a 30-block area of East Village, and which assumes that the owners of individual parcels making up most of the 73.5 acres wish to combine their parcels into one site. The student teams were to respond as a multidisciplinary full service development team and include a development proposal with financials, a master land use plan, and an urban design scheme for the area.

The development schemes from the finalist teams are:

  • Harvard University: “Celebration of Art” proposes an art-centric, multi-generational, European-scaled, sustainable development on the site of a former warehouse district. The project seeks to create over 1,500 jobs while attracting people to live, shop, and work in East Village. The design is unified by a central park and subdivided by four art-themed sub districts, each with its own art-themed pocket park. Team members include Macy Man-Sai Leung, Ignacio Correa, Fai Au, Xue Zhou, and Shane Campbell. The team is advised by Richard Peiser and Brian Canin.
  • University of Maryland, College Park: “East Village: The Garden District” strategically uses open space to create a greenway that connects Balboa Park with the San Diego Bay waterfront. The plan’s overall aims are to refine the neighborhood’s identity through the promotion of the arts and education; increase the economic vitality of East Village to the downtown; transform Broadway into a major gateway to the San Diego Bay waterfront; create a memorable college town and affordable housing for the growing community; and promote stewardship by incorporating sustainable landscape urbanism. Team members include Gregory Patrick Vernon, Lin Mao, Brian H. Brodeur, Kameron Aroom, and Timothy Martin Phillips. The team is advised by Matthew Bell.
  • North Carolina State University; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (joint team): “Family Oriented Development/F.O.D” hones in on the concept of the family as the central component necessary for catalytic redevelopment of East Village. Designed to accommodate the diverse needs of families of all sizes, ages, and economic levels, the sustainable design incorporates many critical family-friendly elements, such as community space, connectivity, public arts, and job incubation. Team members include Maria Papiez, Daria Khramtsova, Rebecca Myers, Jeff Pleshek, and Matt Tomasulo. The team is advised by Robin Fran Abrams.
  • University of Pennsylvania: “La Moda Fresca” aims to reposition East Village as a new center for fresh food and fresh ideas. A central promenade, Eat Street, is the focal point of the food arts district. Restaurants, food carts, test kitchens, public markets, and a culinary academy and museum reinforce and anchor the neighborhood’s identity. Team members include Lou Huang, Marie Park, Allen Penniman, Keyleigh Kern, and Brian Lee. The team is advised by Michael Larice.

“All submissions created a strong sense of place and showed the ability to transform an idea, while figuring out how to lay out an idea that could actually be built with financial strength and feasibility,” said Competition Jury Chairman Lizanne Galbreath, managing partner, Galbreath & Company, Norwalk, Conn. “The final four all had a sense of contextual orientation, how to properly fit it into the greater area of San Diego, and a strong central theme which tied into all the blocks and neighborhoods around them.”

The finalist teams were chosen by a jury of renowned real estate development, architecture, urban planning, and design experts. In addition to Jury Chairman Lizanne Galbreath, other jury members are: Bert Gregory, FAIA, LEED AP, president and chief executive officer, Mithun, Seattle, Wash.; Helen Hatch, FAIA, principal and vice president, client relations, Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates, Inc., Atlanta; Jim Heid, founder, UrbanGreen, San Francisco; Jeffrey D. Kune, managing partner, DMG Capital Realty Advisors, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Neal Payton, AIA, LEED AP, senior principal, Torti Gallas & Partners, Los Angeles; Kevin Shanley, FASLA, chief executive officer, SWA Group, Houston; and John M. Walsh III, President, TIG Real Estate Services, Inc., Dallas, Tex. Local financial advisers to the jury were Evan E. Becker, managing director, RED Capital Group, San Diego and Tony Pauker, vice president of development, City Ventures, San Diego.

Six team entries were also selected for honorable mention. Four general honorable mentions were awarded to: Cornell University with “East Village Squares;” the University of Pennsylvania, with “FLEX;” the University of Texas at Austin with “Living Mosaic;” and a joint entry from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Madison with “NoMa.” In addition, the jury recognized another two entries for specific honorable mentions. For demonstration of excellent sensitivity to the current economy, the jury commended the joint team of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University with “Re-Envisioning the Market” and for excellent clarity of graphics, the jury commended the University of Pennsylvania with “GreenWalk,” The entries from the four finalists and six honorable mentions can be found on the competition Web site (www.udcompetition.uli.org.)

The ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition strives to encourage cooperation and teamwork–necessary talents in the planning, design and development of sustainable communities–among future land use professionals and allied professions, such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, engineering, real estate development, finance, psychology and law. The competition has been funded through a $3 million endowment from real estate legend Gerald D. Hines, chairman and owner of the Hines real estate organization. “Through this competition, we are raising awareness among the students of the key role high-quality urban design plays in creating sustainable living environments,” Hines commented. “Real estate development is a very exciting, imaginative field. It involves many disciplines and interaction with so many parts of our world—finance, politics, science, and psychology—it affects the lives of so many people.”

In the final phase of the 2010 competition, which concludes April 8, the student finalist teams will have the opportunity to expand their original schemes and respond in more detail. On March 12, a member of each finalist team will visit San Diego, all expenses paid, and will have the opportunity to tour the site and refine their presentations. On April 8, finalist team members will assemble, at ULI’s expense, to present their programs to the competition jury members during a public forum in San Diego, which will also be attended by guests from the public and private sector. A winner will be announced the same day. The competition is designed as an exercise; there is no intention that the students’ plans will be implemented as part of any development of the site.

About the Urban Land Institute:
The Urban Land Institute (uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 33,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.