Oct. 2, 2020

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape launches ambitious international design competition

CBDX competition invites participants to reimagine inclusive, equitable ‘City for All’

Calgary, AB – The School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) at the University of Calgary has launched a design competition intended to spark an international discussion around equitable, inclusive cities. The CBDX: CITIES FOR ALL competition is an ambitious endeavour, inviting interested participants to propose design counterpoints to the questions weighing on our collective conscience resulting from the current social and political climate. Given the uncertainty we are all facing due to the global pandemic, the unceasing threat of environmental degradation and increasing social inequity, we find ourselves at a necessary juncture to reconsider how we live and how we, as designers, can help others to live.

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

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. As Dr. John L. Brown, PhD, SAPL Dean, explains, “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.”

Entrants will 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 $6000 in prizes and the deadline for submissions is December 31, 2020. An international, interdisciplinary jury – to be announced in November – will identify the winning entries on February 10, 2021.

CBDX: CITIES FOR ALL is made possible through the support of Stantec, a global design and delivery firm. Selected entries will be exhibited in February 2021 and published in Fall 2021. CBDX: CITIES FOR ALL is organized, in part, by the Center for Civilization.

Competition details can be found at cbdxcitiesforall.com.