Urban planning competitions – involving residents

People sit around round tables discussing questions. There are four round tables shown in this pictureIt’s time for planning competitions to have residents involved in design decisions and planning solutions. A select panel of judges are not looking for the same things. Planning competitions are used as a way to determine alternatives and promote innovative solutions in the early phase of urban planning.

The book  New Approaches, Methods, and Tools in Urban E-Planning, has an interesting chapter that outlines the findings of how e-participation can be implemented in urban planning competitions. You will need institutional access for a free read. The chapter is “Enhancing E-Participation in Urban Planning Competitions”.

From the abstract

Planning competitions are used as a way to determine alternatives and promote innovative solutions in the early phase of urban planning. However, the traditional jury-based evaluation process is encountering significant opposition, as it does not consider Front cover of the book New Approaches methods and Tools in Urban E Planningthe views of local residents.

This chapter describes how web-based public participation tools are utilized in urban planning competitions. Public opinion is included alongside the expert view given by the jury. This chapter focuses on how public participation can be arranged in competition processes. It shows how the contestants use the information produced, and how it has been utilized in further planning of the area.

Based on two Finnish case studies,  web-based tools can augment public participation in the competition process. However, the results indicate that the impact of participation on selecting the winner is weak.

Architecture competitions for universal design: codes or innovation?

picture of a modern building Norway Opera House. Architecture competitions.How juries assess universal design in architectural school competitions is critical to the level of innovation that can be expected. Norwegian Leif D Houck gives an excellent analysis of the way competitions are run today and improvements for the future.

The following excerpt from the introductory section provides a good overview and direction of the discussion in the article. 

“The very reason to organize an architectural competition is to achieve maximum quality in a project. The idea is not to have a competition to see if anyone manages to comply the regulations, building codes and the competition brief. No, the idea is to achieve qualities beyond the regulations.

An architectural competition will most likely result in different designs and solutions – with different qualities. Additionally, a project’s development from developing the building program until the building stage contains stages in which the project is in process and will (hopefully) be improved.”

You can download the full article, How Juries Assess UD in Norwegian Architectural School CompetitionsThe article was published in Universal Design 2016: Learning from the Past, Designing for the Future H. Petrie et al. (Eds.) © 2016  

The picture is of the Oslo Opera House


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