"Unslumming Kibera" wins AECOM "Urban SOS: Frontiers" student competition

Jan 17, 2013, 14:10 ET from AECOM

NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AECOM announced today that "Unslumming Kibera" has won the company's fourth annual Urban SOS competition.

The program fosters cross-disciplinary thinking in urban problem-solving and design education while helping to make a real difference for a community in need.

This year's competition centered on issues related to physical, political, cultural, ecological, or economic borders, and drew entries from 118 universities in 41 countries around the world. Slums in Nairobi, Kenya; the ecology and economics of sewage in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; the need for green terraces for the Bogota-Soacha border in Colombia—these were the "frontiers" that the top three submissions sought to improve.

A master jury of leading design and urban experts voted for the winning entry after viewing presentations by the three finalist teams at the Center for Architecture on Jan. 16.

"We are committed to supporting the development of young talent," said AECOM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John M. Dionisio. "Initiatives such as our Urban SOS student competition provide a platform for promoting innovative approaches to some of the critical challenges facing the urbanized world. All of the finalists deserve congratulations for their inspirational presentations."

The jury included Bill Hanway, executive vice president, buildings + places, AECOM; Donna Walcavage and Chris Choa, principals, design + planning, AECOM; Rick Bell, FAIA, executive director at the Center for Architecture; Galia Solomonoff, founder and creative director, Solomonoff Architecture Studio and assistant professor at Colombia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and Alexandra Hardiman, director of mobile products at The New York Times.

"All the entrants identified critical ideas and solutions to the challenges facing their specific communities," said Bill Hanway, a founder of the competition and jury chair. "We felt that the project 'Unslumming Kibera' best illustrated a solution driven from the team's personal experience in that community. The heart of an informal community, no matter how small, becomes the inspirational driver for change."

Winning team members Adam Broidy (California College of the Arts), Jack Campbell Clause (Leeds Metropolitan University), Jamilla Harper (University of Nairobi) and April Schneider (University of Illinois Chicago) received a US$5,000 cash prize. An in-kind donation of cash and AECOM technical assistance totaling US$25,000 will go to helping realize their project.

Sara Navrady (Delft University of Technology) and her project "Sewage Ecologies/Economies" was recognized with a US$5,000 cash prize. Juan Camilo Pinzon (Universidad de los Andes) and Guillermo Umana (Macquarie University) with their "Green Terraces" project were also recognized with a US $5,000 cash prize.

Follow this and coming years' competitions at www.aecom.com/urbansos, on Facebook, or through @AECOMUrbanSOS on Twitter. Track the realization of the 2011 winning proposal—a plan to improve conditions of informal waterfront settlements in Banjarmasin, Indonesia—through a blog on the AECOM website.


AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. With approximately 45,000 employees around the world, AECOM is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation, and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world's built, natural, and social environments. A Fortune 500 company, AECOM serves clients in approximately 125 countries and had revenue of $8.2 billion during its fiscal year 2012. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at www.aecom.com.

Related Links:

Urban SOS Competition