Thursday, July 16, 2009

Reburbia Competition

In a competition dedication to the re-envisioning of the suburb sponsored by Dwell and Inhabitat, Reburbia starts today with entries seeking innovation in suburban housing.

In a future where limited natural resources will force us to find better solutions for density and efficiency, what will become of the cul-de-sacs, cookie-cutter tract houses and generic strip malls that have long upheld the diffuse infrastructure of suburbia? How can we redirect these existing spaces to promote sustainability, walkability, and community? It’s a problem that demands a visionary design solution and we want you to create the vision!

Are population begins to grow and more housing will undoubtedly be needed. We've discussed several different infrastructural concepts here at D.U.S., urban re-flight, satellite cities, and the hypocrisy of suburban nomenclature, but we should focus some study on what the hell to do with our existing failing suburbs.

If you're near the cusps of several large metropolitan areas its no secret travel and commuting is one of the major issues affecting our suburbs today. How can these be reconfigured in order to reduce heaps of complicated problems. Could large box grocery stores be retrofitted into local community markets, with produce grown from oversized parcels? Perhaps the creation of local business centers with every necessary video conferencing and interactive communication tools would eliminate the need for long commutes, making the virtual office an easy walk or bike ride away.

With the extra added commute free time, we learn to actually make things again, for our own use and to buy and trade at local markets, drastically reducing long-distance transport fuel consumption and pollution. Like the business centers, gym-like craftsmen shops allow shared knowledge and tools alike from expert to novice, reducing the need for excess equipment.

There's certainly no shortage of possibilities, and no time like the present, I personally would love to see Landscape Architects becoming an integral part of concepts and solutions.

What are some of your ideas?

Enter the Inhabitat / Dwell REBURBIA competition online, by sending up to 5 images and a statement about your design proposal. You can submit as many entries as you like, but each individual entry should be focused on one singular design problem/solution (i.e. a McMansion farm rehab, a bicycle transportation hub, a piezoelectric, energy-generating freeway paving system). Entries will be judged on clarity of idea, usefulness of design, and visual/aesthetic appeal of renderings.

August 1st, 12am EST - submission deadline

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