Luckily, it’s not all bad news. This month, A New Infrastructure, an Open Ideas competition, hopes to offer up some brilliant and revolutionary ideas on how to get Los Angeles moving forward into the future again.
Bolstered by the passage of Measure R in 2008 (which is expected to provide as much as $40 billion for transit-related projects in the City of Los Angeles over the next 30 years) and the Obama administration’s promise to make the largest investment since the 1950s in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, the Southern California Institute of Future Initiatives (SCIFI) program at the Southern California Institute of Architects (SCI-Arc) and The Architect’s Newspaper are co-sponsoring A New Infrastructure, an Open Ideas competition.
The competition, the first of its kind to address transit, hopes to elicit some big ideas for a seriously big problem. Much like Obama reaching across the aisles in Washington, the competition invites architects, engineers, planners, and civic leaders to reach beyond the boundaries of their disciplines to come up with some truly innovative ideas that rethink and transcend the existing relationships between systems, public space, and urban redevelopment.
Submissions will be evaluated by an all-star jury that includes professionals from across the disciplines of architecture, engineering, and planning, including:
Thom Mayne, Principal and Founder of Morphosis Architects; Aspet Davidian, Director, Project Engineering Facilities, LA Metro; Neil Denari, Professor at UCLA and Principal of Neil M. Denari Architects; Gail Goldberg, Director of Planning, City of Los Angeles; Roland Genik, Urban Planner and Designer, Exposition Line; Cecilia V. Estolano, CEO of the Community Redevelopment Agency; and Eric Owen Moss, Director of SCI-Arc and Principal and Founder of Eric Owen Moss Architects. The jury will also include transit engineers from LA Metro, developers, and local civic leaders.
With over 75 entries from around the world (including the U.S., U.K., France, Estonia, and Italy) including concepts by several internationally-known companies as well as many of LA’s best emerging talent, the competition promises to be close. Winners will be announced on March 21st at Sci-Arc.
Besides international bragging rights, the winner will receive a small monetary reward for their design concept. But the real winner here will definitely the City of LA for if even one of these ideas could become a reality, Los Angeles might once again return to its former glory as a future-forward city.