Newshub - NUS' News Portal
8 July 2011
Team from ETH Zurich Wins International Design Competition with Innovative Solutions to Address Urbanisation Problems
Held at NUS, the inaugural Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition seeks to develop new urban models to ease congestion in burgeoning Asian cities
The National University of Singapore's (NUS) School of Design and Environment and international philanthropic organisation World Future Foundation Ltd (WFF), today announced the winners of an inaugural international design competition that seeks to address the problems of urban sprawl, congestion and pollution faced by Asia's overcrowded cities.
The team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) was awarded the first prize with the winning entry titled "Symbio City", while teams from Netherlands' Delft University of Technology and China's Tongji University took the second and third place, respectively.
Mr Lim Eng Hwee, Chief Planner and Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Planning), Urban Redevelopment Authority, presented prizes to the three winning teams at an Awards Presentation Ceremony held at NUS this evening.
The team from NUS received an honourable mention for their entry titled, "Village City - The Coupling of Village and City Lifestyle and Infrastructure".
The international design competition and symposium, called Vertical Cities Asia, was launched jointly by the NUS and WFF in January 2011 and aims to find new urban models for cities that cater to a greater population without compromising quality of life. To be held annually over a five-year period, the initiatives are supported by a S$1.5 million gift from WFF.
The first of this series of competition, themed "Everybody needs fresh air", seeks design solutions for a balanced environment where public amenities and work opportunities are within easy access. It also encourages green modes of transport and energy production that contribute to clean and fresh air.
Said Professor Heng Chye Kiang, Dean of the NUS School of Design and Environment, "We see an urgent need to find solutions to address the devastating effects on land, infrastructure, and the environment caused by the rapidly growing population in Asian cities. 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."
Said Dr Feng Lun, Chairman of WFF, "Like NUS, WFF is passionate about promoting research on environmental sustainability. 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. We are confident that with this competition, we would be able to tap on the creativity of our young minds and spur them to come up with new, effective models of sustainable urban living."
About the Competition
For the competition, students of architecture and related disciplines from nine universities were tasked to design one square kilometre of land for 100,000 people, taking into account factors such as density, liveability and sustainability specific to the rapid and exponential growth of urbanism in Asia.
Two proposals from each university were selected for the finals. The Design Jury assessed the entries in five areas: sustainability (environmental), quality of life (inclusiveness and community), feasibility (buildability, financial and social support), relation to context (place, awareness of conditions, climate and cultural milieu) and technical innovation (technology and techniques). The top three submissions were awarded cash prizes of S$15,000, S$10,000 and S$5,000, respectively.
The nine participating universities in Asia, Europe and the United States include NUS, Delft University of Technology, ETH Zurich, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tokyo University, Tongji University, Tsinghua University, University of California at Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania.
More information about the competition is available at http://www.verticalcitiesasia.com/