UCLA’s cityLAB has launched a new design competition called (somewhat lamely) WPA 2.0, where the WPA refers to the Works Progress Administration. But the competition itself looks cool.
Its tagline? Whoever Rules the Sewers Rules the City.
It’s a call for new visions of urban infrastructure:
We encourage projects that explore the value of infrastructure not only as an engineering endeavor, but as a robust design opportunity to strengthen communities and revitalize cities. Unlike the previous era, the next generation of such projects will require surgical integration into the existing urban fabric, and will work by intentionally linking systems of points, lines and landscapes; hybridizing economies with ecologies; and overlapping architecture with planning.
Sounds good in the abstract, but what are they specifically looking for? Quite a range:
This notion of infrastructural systems is intentionally broad, including but not limited to parks, schools, open space, vehicle storage, sewers, roads, transportation, storm water, waste, food systems, recreation, local economies, “green” infrastructure, fire prevention, markets, landfills, energy-generating facilities, cemeteries, and smart utilities.
Judges include Stan Allen, Cecil Balmond, Elizabeth Diller, Walter Hood, Thom Mayne, and Marilyn Jordan Taylor – two of whom (Allen and Diller) I’m proud to say that I’ve served I’ve been on design juries with in the past.
Here’s the competition brief as a downloadable PDF. Read more at the competition website – and good luck!