Urban SOS: hOUR City 2017 Finalist
By Jeremy Chou and Joy Woo
Van Alen Institute
A team composed of College of Environmental Design graduate students, including Vincent Agoe (B.A. Urban Studies ‘13, M.C.P./M.L.A. ‘18), Derek Lazo (M.L.A. ‘18), Serena Lousich (M.L.A. ‘19), Mark Wessels (M.L.A. ‘17), and Sarah Skenazy (M.C.P./M.P.H. ‘19) were selected as finalists for the Urban SOS: hOUR City Competition presented by AECOM and the Van Alen Institute.
For this competition, students were asked to propose new and innovative solutions for addressing housing, transportation, and economic challenges that have occurred in the current landscape. Historically, the boundaries of a city were defined by how far one could travel in an hour. This parameter determined the reach of a city’s infrastructure. This competition prompts students to rethink the parameter of time, and reimagine the boundaries of urban, suburban, and rural communities.
The team’s project was coined “The Healthy City” and seeks to combat the growing number of Americans with chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. The Healthy City project is a proposal to construct a series of programmed loops, or neighborhood and regional transit paths. This proposal is intended for the context of Oakland, California and it seeks to connect communities with resources and physical campuses of major health care providers.
The team’s proposal recommends interventions that range from small-scale changes, such as painted paths and exercise equipment, to more major interventions, such as creating new transit networks to provide access to healthcare related jobs in the area.
In addition The Healthy City proposal, other finalists include “New Suburban Living” from Melbourne, Australia, “The Holding Project” from Belfast, Ireland, and “Alternative Ways of Transportation” from Bangkok, Thailand.
The finalists will present their proposals in Los Angeles in January of 2018. A total of $15,000 in award money will be distributed among the finalist teams and the winning team with receive $25,000 of in-kind support from AECOM to implement a pilot of their proposal.
Read more about the finalists and the competition here.