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International student design competition organised to address urbanisation issues

27 January 2011

AT NUS SCHOOL OF DESIGN AND ENVIRONMENT: Senior administrators and faculty members from the NUS Department of Architecture and representatives from six other universities as well as WFF, after a preparatory meeting for the competition held on 4 October 2010

The NUS Department of Architecture, together with an international philanthropic organisation World Future Foundation Ltd (WFF), launched a Vertical Cities Asia International Competition and Symposium early this month. To be held annually over a five-year period, the initiatives are supported by generous funding from WFF.

The competition will encourage design explorations into the prospects of new models of urban architecture, taking into consideration factors such as density, liveability and sustainability. It is open to students of architecture and related disciplines from ten participating universities in Asia, Europe and the USA, including Delft University of Technology, ETH Zurich, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tokyo University, Tongji University, Tsinghua University, NUS, University of California at Berkeley, University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania.

Dean of NUS School of Design and Environment Prof Heng Chye Kiang said: "Looking at the rate of growth of the world's population, especially in Asia where urbanisation is rampant, a new paradigm of sustainable and land-efficient urban growth must be sought to cater to the growing needs of the people. One solution is to construct transit-oriented vertical cities. In highly populated Asia and congested cities where land is a major constraint, the only way to build is upwards."

WFF Managing Director Mr Lu Bo said: "By initiating such a global competition, we aim to provide a practical opportunity for the world's future architects to focus on critical threats that Asian cities are faced with."

For the competition every year, a one square kilometre territory housing 100,000 people living and working within the space will be the subject of study. It will set the stage for research and investigation into urban density, verticality, domesticity, work, food, infrastructure, nature, ecology, structure and programme. The inaugural competition will be held from 1 January to 30 June 2011.

For more details on this competition, please click here.