The planning, design and engineering firm AECOM and the World Architecture Festival have announced the winners in the Urban SOS: Distressed Cities, Creative Responses student competition. Sabrina Kleinenhammans of Germany, a graduate of MIT School of Architecture and Planning, placed first and was awarded $15,000 for her proposal to create a recreational open space system around rail corridors in Mumbai.
The Urban SOS competition (an evolution of the award-winning intern program held by AECOM’s operation formerly known as EDAW) challenged students to submit innovative solutions to environmental, social, and economic challenges confronting cities worldwide. The competition drew over 1,000 responses from 65 countries, from individuals and teams of up to four students in design, planning, environmental studies, economics and related fields.
“The student competition was a great learning experience for us,” said Jason Prior, executive director of the Design + Planning practice at AECOM. “It’s not only critical that we invest in the emerging generation of designers and planners, but that we find mechanisms where we can bring challenges—such as those brought on by global urbanization—back into our professional dialogue.”
Kleinenhammans’ winning entry, In-Between Green, envisions a process of transforming interstitial spaces along a 58km (36mi) transportation corridor to open recreational opportunities for Mumbai residents. In second place, the team of Olivier Woeffray (Université de Lausanne, Switzerland) and Miriam Fernández Ruiz (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) was awarded $2,500 for a proposal to improve an unplanned riverfront settlement in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The third place team, Stephanie Ulrich and Sahar Moin (University of Pennsylvania) received $2,500 for their concept of a collection of agricultural parks between the U.S.-Mexico border cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.
The top five teams traveled to Barcelona to present before a master jury at the World Architecture Festival. The jury included architect Sir Peter Cook, Beirut-based architect Nabil Gholam, and founder of TPO Reserve Architecture in Moscow Vladmir Plotkin.