2021 Student Design Competition Winners

First Place

Reimagine, Macon Georgia

Team Reimagine — University of Georgia

Team Reimagine pursues to help regenerate a city that has struggled with many challenges regarding civic engagement, socioeconomic mixing/racial injustice, connectivity between communities, and environmental sustainability. The purpose of honing deep on site context and analysis was to find the true character of the spaces and the people of Macon. Our proposed ideas and designs strove to not only tackle the existing challenges but to also help create a healthy and safe environment for all residents in the community through public access, parks and recreation, and revitalizing the downtown.

Team Reimagine will be presenting their final project at NPC21.

Team Members: Adolfo Martinez, Karlie Roper, Margaret Apperson, Duncan Watts, Jeremy Smith, Anneka Pace

University of Georgia

Team Reimagine — University of Georgia

About the Competition

Co-sponsored by the Divisions Council and the Student Representatives Council, the annual Student Design Competition creates opportunities for interdisciplinary student collaboration while advancing a current Divisions Council initiative. The winning team is awarded a $3,500 prize.

The American Planning Association presents the Annual Student Design Competition as part of the 2021 National Planning Conference. Now in its fifth year, the competition invites teams of students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in planning, public policy, urban design, architecture, and real estate development to participate. This competition is seen as part of the APA's ongoing efforts to provide leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change.

The year 2020 has marked a new chapter in the pursuit of racial justice and equity in our country. Grave injustices were highlighted in America, as our country grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil unrest in our cities were about much more than racism and excessive force in law enforcement. It is about the radically different life experience so many people of color live in this country and the fundamental unfairness of the stark racial disparities. Data shows us the persistent racial differences in educational achievement, incarceration rates, life expectancy, housing conditions, childhood trauma, COVID-19 infections, and more.

The discriminatory practices from the planning profession has led to structural disadvantages in housing, transportation, education and employment that last to this day. Therefore, we must fundamentally change our 'business as usual' planning and zoning practices.

This year's competition challenges students to right the planning's wrongs of the past. The unique focus of this competition is for students to demonstrate a multidisciplinary and multifaceted approach to creating great communities through a racial justice and equity lens. Proposals should seek to promote healthy communities, support workforce development and community entrepreneurship, increase high-quality housing options, and incorporate strategies that optimize environmental assets and awareness. The final jury will be seeking comprehensive, thoughtful, implementable solutions that integrate innovation, best practices, and thought-provoking strategies for addressing these four objectives.

2021 Student Design Competition Background Information and Resources


Previous Winners

2020

First Place

Team RES

Columbia University

Team RES -- Columbia University

"Team RES (resilient, responsive, restorative) seeks to promote healthy communities, support workforce development and community entrepreneurship, increase high-quality housing options, and incorporate strategies that optimize environmental assets and awareness. Through our proposal, we seek to address some of the community's concerns targeting flood mitigation, environmental remediation, gentrification, housing affordability, and the high crime rate. We explore the myriad of solutions around planning for communities that are equitable, resilient, and for residents who need ready access to housing that's affordable."

Report

Poster

Second Place

University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign

2020 Student Design Competition University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign

Report

Poster

Third Place

Harvard University

2020 Student Design Competition Harvard University

Report

Poster

2019

Team Fruitpad

Cornell University

2019 Student Design Competition winners, Team Fruitpad from Cornell University.

2019 Student Design Competition winners, Team Fruitpad from Cornell University.

2018

NOLA Shares

Cornell University

Poster

Report

Team Leader — Anna Callahan; Team Members — Thomas Pera, Hannah Plummer, Kari Spiegelhalter

NOLA Shares features a web and app-based platform that aims to increase and facilitate shared skills, resources and knowledge across the Iberville community in downtown New Orleans. In addition to cloud-based infrastructure, the team proposed physical kiosks installed throughout the neighborhood to guarantee access for all residents.

2017

L.E.A.P. to a Smart Future

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Poster

Report

Team Leader — Xiaochen Chen; Team Members — Yuanyi Xiao, Donggyu Lee

The 2017 Student Design Competition invited interdisciplinary student teams to apply place-based Smart City technologies to a specific New York City site. The winning team, L.E.A.P. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, creatively identified a four-part vision — L.E.A.P. to a Smart Future — detailing how Smart City technologies could be used to improve Livability, Empowerment, Accessibility, and Play on site.

Finalists

Four additional teams were selected as finalists and presented their ideas at the National Planning Conference in New York City.

Smart CATS

Kansas State University

Poster

Report

Adaptive Strategies

New York University

Poster

Report

UCLA MURPs

University of California, Los Angeles

Poster

Report

The All-Nighters

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Poster

Report