International competition invites designers to reimagine the inclusive, equitable city

The School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) at the University of Calgary has launched the CBDX: CITIES FOR ALL international design ideas competition.

The competition is intended to spark an international discussion around equitable, inclusive cities. According to the SAPL, CBDX: CITIES FOR ALL invites interested participants to propose design counterpoints to the questions weighing on our collective conscience resulting from the current social and political climate.

The competition is an extension of a discussion SAPL has actively been hosting, most recently via a live-streamed panel discussion featuring architect-activists from South Africa and the United States. “Space is life,” Dr. Craig Wilkins from the University of Michigan said during the discussion. “If you don’t have access to it, or if your access to it is unjust or unequal, then your life is going to be that way.”

The competition’s organizers say that the pandemic and the Black Lives Matters movement have given us a sense of urgency for addressing a wide-ranging set of inequities that have always existed.

“The climate crisis and social inequality have converged against the backdrop of a pandemic, prompting us to rethink the way cities are being designed, built and operated. It is an opportunity for architects, planners, landscape architects, and other creative practitioners and students to imagine how we can make our futures better for everyone. The ideas generated from this competition will offer a glimpse into how a city for all might look, how it might operate, and come into being,” says Dr. John L. Brown, PhD, SAPL Dean.

Entrants are asked to submit design proposals for places, structures, things, systems, processes or relationships that increase inclusion, belonging, and well-being for a group who is typically underrepresented or undervalued in the prevailing design discourse.

The competition offers $6,000 in prizes. The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2020. An international, interdisciplinary jury – to be announced in November – will select the winning entries on February 10, 2021.

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