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NUS and WFF award top prize of international design competition to team from ETH Zurich

12 July 2011

Mr Alessandro Marco Bosshard (right), student presenter for the winning team from ETH Zurich, with his professor Kees Christiaanse

Mr Harvey Lukman, student presenter for the NUS team

Mr Lim Eng Hwee (centre) receiving a gift of appreciation. With him was Prof Heng (far left) and Dr Feng Lun

Winners of the inaugural Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition were unveiled at the awards presentation ceremony on 8 July 2011. A team from ETH Zurich won the first prize of S$15,000 with their winning entry “Symbio City”, while the second and third prizes went to teams from Delft University of Technology and Tongji University respectively. Additionally, an NUS team received special commendation for their entry “Village City – The Coupling of Village and City Lifestyle and Infrastructure”.

Organised by the NUS School of Design and Environment (SDE) and sponsored by the World Future Foundation (WFF), the competition, which was held over six months, saw the participation of nine universities from Asia, Europe and the United States, including The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tokyo University, Tsinghua University, University of California at Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania.

Mr Lim Eng Hwee, Chief Planner and Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Planning) of Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, graced the award ceremony as Guest-of-Honour. Also in attendance were the Design Jury as well as WFF Chairman Dr Feng Lun and SDE Dean Prof Heng Chye Kiang.

Said Prof Heng: “As land is a major constraint in many Asian cities, the only way is to build upwards and hence, the need for ‘vertical cities’. With this competition, we hope to continuously discover new models of urban architecture that can effectively ease the congestion in Asian cities.”

“Like NUS, WFF is passionate about promoting research on environmental sustainability,” said Dr Feng Lun. “We are pleased to support this initiative because we believe that congestion, depletion of natural resources and the other detrimental effects of urbanisation are key issues faced by all Asian cities.”

For the competition, the participating teams took on the challenge of designing one square kilometre of land for 100,000 people, taking into account factors such as density, liveability and sustainability. This is the first in a series of competitions supported by WFF which will be held annually over five years.