VCA Top Prize Taken By Tongji For Second Year Running

_From left: Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of National Development, Mr Lee Yi Shyan presented prizes to the winning teams_

Singapore – One of two students teams representing China’s Tongji University has defeated nine other prestigious universities from around the world to walk away with the top prize at this year’s “Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition: Everyone Connects”. 
 
Co-organized by the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) School of Design and Environment and Beijing Vantone Citylogic Investment Corporation and co-sponsored by World Future Foundation (WFF), the annual student competition is now in its fourth year and aims to inspire new models of sustainable urban living by addressing problems such as urban sprawl, congestion and pollution increasingly faced by Asia’s overcrowded cities.
 
Presented with a one square kilometre competition site in Mumbai, India, the teams were challenged to come up with holistic and integrated solutions for 100,000 people to ‘connect’ residents to amenities such as clean energy, clean water, fresh air, efficient transportation, as well as facilities to help them live, work, learn and play.
 
A total of 19 teams from 10 universities in Asia, Europe and the United States took part in the competition. The participating universities are: NUS; The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Tongji University; Tsinghua University; University of Tokyo; Delft University of Technology; ETH Zurich; University of California at Berkeley; University of Michigan; and University of Pennsylvania.
 
Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of National Development, presented prizes to the winning teams at the Awards Presentation Ceremony held at NUS.
 
Tongji University was awarded the first prize with their winning entry “Osmosis City”, while teams from Delft University of Technology with their entry titled “Aamchi Mumbai Fundamentals” and Tsinghua University with their entry titled “Believe-In City” took the second and third place, respectively. The top three winning submissions were awarded cash prizes of S$15,000, S$10,000 and S$5,000 respectively.
 
Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition was jointly launched by NUS and WFF in January 2011. The initiative aims to find new urban models for cities that cater to a greater population without compromising quality of life. The competition to be held over five year is supported by a gift of S$1.5 million from WFF and Vantone Citylogic.
 
Professor Heng Chye Kiang, Dean of the NUS School of Design and Environment said, “This is the fourth year that we are organising the Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition. These competitions have provided a unique platform for some of the top researchers and students from different countries to collectively study the opportunities and challenges associated with Asia’s rapid growth and urbanisation, and to formulate appropriate, sustainable solutions. We are encouraged by the breadth of ideas presented in the proposals, and we hope to continue to inspire more researchers, students and practitioners to undertake research in the topic of vertical cities.”
 
Dr Feng Lun, Chairman of WFF said, “The World Future Foundation is pleased to partner the NUS School of Design and Environment in the Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition, which recognises some of the best young design talents. In the last four years, many fresh ideas and exciting solutions have emerged from competition. It is through such initiatives that we stimulate the discovery of new models of sustainable urban living to address critical problems the world faces today.”
 
The year’s entries were evaluated based on five areas: sustainability (environmental); quality of life (inclusiveness and community); technical innovation (technology and techniques); relationship to context (place, awareness of conditions, climate and cultural context); and feasibility. 
 
For more information on the competition, please visit:
www.verticalcitiesasia.com
 
(Text: Joseph Sim)