WHY STOP Competition: Imagining the South Coast Rail
In support of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land use Corridor Plan, SHIFTboston is challenging urban planners, architects, urban designers, designers and landscape architects — professionals and students — to explore and visualize destinations along the proposed South Coast Rail extension, which will connect Boston to Taunton, New Bedford, and Fall River, Massachusetts.
The planned extension of commuter rail lines from Boston’s South Station to the Massachusetts South Coast has the capacity for broader reconception and reimagination of the region. Competitors are encouraged to investigate and to explore the potential of this new network and its resources. Competitors might animate the rail system by adding to or enhancing the latent urban network. These new destinations could draw from the regional and local resources, industry and culture such as, universities, agriculture, arts, marine industry, historical institutions, tourism and recreation. Consider what has not yet been considered — contemporary communal and public meeting places, open markets for local food production, a regional cultural campus of performance space and theatres connected by rail, or new research and development campuses or dense residential districts. The submission might explore these stopping points along the rail as part of system of supporting links which make up a greater network. The competitor might also choose to focus on further developing the central core of one or more of the cities on the line, such as Fall River or New Bedford.
This international competition and event will foster the development of valuable concepts necessary for a new and vital urban network along the railway therefore becoming a true realization of the potential of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan.
Competitors are asked to address one or more of the following options:
Option 1: New Bedford Stop Develop a concept for the end of the line in New Bedford. Think about how this stop might draw from regional and local resources, industry and culture, such as universities, agriculture, arts, marine industry, historical institutions, tourism. Envision how it might engage with the existing New Bedford community to further develop a central city core.
Option 2: Fall River Stop Develop a concept for the end of the line in Fall River at Battleship Cove. Think about how this stop might draw from regional and local resources, industry and culture, such as universities, agriculture, arts, marine industry, historical institutions, tourism. Envision how it might engage with the existing Fall River community and Battleship Cove and perhaps how it might further develop a central city core.
Option 3: You Tell Us How would you program the South Coast Rail? You decide. Participants could develop a program for the entire line, perhaps define a concept with which to enhance an existing city along the line. Animate the new rail system by adding one or more new programmed destinations. Think about programming the rail while drawing upon local resources in order to develop a more sustainable infrastucture — and how one could draw form the region using the railway as a service for fresh produce and seafood — turning stations into food markets. Imagining the line as a new place for bike recreation with bike sharing facilities and paths along the coast. How about transforming Fall River as Massachusetts new art city — by utilizing the great industrial building stock for studios.
Option 4: Landscape There are a large number of wetlands lying in the South Coast Corridor. Think about how the new rail might draw from this natural resource while offering protection to it. How could the rail benefit this sensitive habitat? Is there a symbiotic relationship that could be further developed between the rail and wetland? Think about how one might develop a more sustainable infrastructure which might engage with and perhaps even expand the wetland environment.
The winner will receive a cash prize and present his/her concept at the SHIFTboston WHY STOP Forum at Faneuil Hall in Boston, MA on October 20, 2011, among select members of the jury, government, community and business leaders, local developers and regional economic development groups. The winning entry will be featured in a new game for mobile devices which will be featured at the Forum and as part of the WHY STOP exhibition. Winning and select submissions will be on public display as part of a travelling exhibition which will begin at South Station in Boston, the New Bedford Public Library and then Fall River beginning in January 2012.
The deadline for submission is September 16, 2011.
All finalists and eligible entries will be promoted on the SHIFTboston blog and website and will become part of the SHIFTboston WHY STOP book in 2012.
For more information, please visit www.shiftboston.org/competitions/2011rail.php.