A multidisciplinary team of students from The University of Texas at Austin has been selected as a finalist in the 20th annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) Hines Student Competition. Comprised of students from the School of Architecture and the McCombs School of Business, UT Austin’s team is one of only four selected to advance to the finals out of 93 teams representing more than 50 universities around the world.
Now in its 20th year, the annual ULI Hines Competition offers graduate students the opportunity to form their own multidisciplinary teams and engage in a challenging exercise in responsible land use. Teams of five students pursuing degrees in at least three different disciplines have two weeks to develop a comprehensive design and development program for a real, large-scale urban site, complete with site plans, renderings, analytical tables, and market-feasible financial data.
This year’s competition challenged students to transform a four-block site in downtown Oakland, California into a mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood. Students were tasked with increasing connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods, providing much needed neighborhood services to the area, addressing critical issues of equity and housing affordability, and having a positive economic impact while increasing the sustainability and resilience of the surrounding community and the city at large.
The UT Austin finalist proposal “The Stack” stands on three pillars: health, culture, and connection. The LEED Platinum, transit-oriented development aims to create a thriving, diverse, and integrated community that is reflective of Oakland’s culture and a catalyst for uplifting the city’s most vulnerable residents. The Stack’s design gradually rises from low to high density, stacking multi-modal transit, cultural programming, community-oriented spaces and green infrastructure that transforms the area into a cultural and transit hub with a mission-driven, mixed-used program that drives positive social change for Oakland.
“The Stack” team includes Sophia Aitken, Master of Science in Community & Regional Planning; Margaret Gallagher, Master of Landscape Architecture; Sanket Kamdar, Master of Science in Urban Design; Alay Thakrar, Master of Science in Urban Design, and Kent Carlson, Master of Business Administration. Their professional mentors were Rebecca Leonard, CEO of Lionheart, Tim Shaughnessy, President of HPI Multifamily, and John Duke, Principal of CPM Texas.
The team was one of only four teams selected for the next phase of the competition by a jury of fifteen ULI members comprised of experts in real estate, land use, and design. The other finalists include a team from Harvard University, a joint team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, and one from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
During the second round of the competition, the four finalist teams will expand their original proposals and present their revised proposal twice: first to a panel of local Oakland experts in March 2022, and then to the jury during the finale in April. As finalists, the team will also receive $10,000 and will be flown out to attend a national ULI meeting after the competition is over.
Earlier in February, the School of Architecture and McCombs School of Businesses also hosted an in-house ULI competition. This annual in-house, juried competition is made possible by the support of Mike and Betsy Cogburn and the Cogburn Family Foundation. The Cogburn Competition jury selected “The Loop” as the in-house winner, and they received a $2,000 first prize, with $1,000 contributed by the American Society of Landscape Architects. “The Loop” team includes Kai Liu, Master of Science in Urban Design; Jingyao Yu, Master of Science in Urban Design; Bowen Chen, Master of Architecture; Yuquing Wang, Master of Science in Urban Design; and Xing Xin, Master of Arts in Economics.
The in-house jury included Dean Michelle Addington, who served as jury chair; Jennifer Wiebrand of Gables Residential, Daniel Woodroffe of dwg. and representing ASLA; Justin Garrison of Lake | Flato; Daniel Campbell of Longview Equity; and Dean Almy, the Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design. Rebecca Leonard from Lionheart organized professional mentors for the student teams, and Steven Spears from Momark Development and Mandy Pope from the McCombs Real Estate Center helped manage UT’s participation in the competition.
For more information about the ULI Hines Competition visit: https://americas.uli.org/programs/awards-competitions/hines-student-design-competition/