2018 Urban Innovation Ideas Competition winners announced

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has announced the winner of its 2018 Urban Innovation Ideas Competition for young professionals and students with members of Mirvac’s design team taking out the top prize for their submission ‘Reflective Lane’. The 2018 Competition called for innovative ideas to rejuvenate the north-west corner of Melbourne CBD, bound by La Trobe, William, Bourke and Spencer streets and received some 42 entries.

The winning submission from Bohan Jones, HJ Yoon, Will Cai and Linda Lin proposed a targeted public arts program in selected laneways that would seek to enrich the subject area and bring different community members together by showcasing local stories and artistic responses with a range of social, cultural and ecological themes.

A particular focus of the winning proposition was the facilitation of experiential connection beyond Australian shores, highlighting Melbourne’s diverse cultural fabric.

ULI Australia Executive Director and Jury Chair David McCracken says Reflective Lane was a standout for its ability to impact the area, which currently lacks activity and excitement, through new experiences.

“The jury saw design-based propositions from the majority of entrants, but the winners took an experienced-based approach to enliven and enrich through stories and connections,” he says.

This submission stood out because it shows a singular cultural and creative approach to changing the experience and perception of this area. It recognised the power of creative activity, supporting artists’ place in their own communities and building international connectivity through the process.

“The concept of Reflective Lane would uplift the community and create value to the urban fabric, highlighting the positive impact of arts and culture on cities and precincts.”

McCracken says the winner’s submission embodied the ethos of the competition and the organisation, which focuses on boldness, innovation and the sharing of new concepts.

“The ULI is about people who want to come together and share for the collective benefit of the cities in which we live,” McCracken continues.

“The winning proposal stood out in emphasising that change was not just affected by urban design and built form but by the programming and activation you can apply within the built form.

Competition sponsor Roger Nelson of NH Architecture highlighted the importance of ideas and innovation from younger generations.

“Through the competition we are interested in thought and the idea that something could actually happen,” he says.

“Deep critical thinking to us is the real essence of where the future may go and we are really proud of everyone’s efforts in the competition.”

The 2018 Urban Innovation Ideas Competition sought submissions from students and young professionals to share their ideas for how the urban streetscape of the north-west corner of Melbourne CBD could be enhanced.

The members of Reflective Lane received $2000 and will partake in a trip to Shanghai to present their proposal at the ULI 2019 Asia Pacific Conference.

The announcement of the winner comes at the end of the Competition’s Stage Two which ran across the month of October and tasked the three finalists’ teams to further develop and refine their original ideas.

The two other finalists were ‘Welcome to Melbourne’ – Fabian Culican, Kavita Sonar, Shelley Black and Simon Zhao from Tract Consultants and ‘Mixed Collectivo’ – Lindy Huang, a student at University of Melbourne; and Marc Schmailz, a student at Technical University of Munich. The submission ‘Mixed Collectivo’ was awarded the prize for best student entry at the conclusion of Stage 1 of the Competition in late September.

The popular vote winner was also announced, as decided by the public, and was awarded to ‘Celebration: Park, Street, Laneway’ comprising University of Hong Kong students Wong Lap Man, Kam Destiny and Kwong Yuk Chun.


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