By recognizing that the city block is to the built environment what the cell is to the human body, San Francisco-based Urban Re:Vision aims to revolutionize the way we plan, build and experience our cities.
Founded in 2006, Urban Re:Vision, in association with Architecture for Humanity and Rocky Mountain Institute, has organized a series of design competitions that ask urban thinkers and innovators around the world to consider the individual elements of the city block: energy, transport, economy and community.
In its latest competition, Re:Construct, Urban Re:Vision is seeking ideas for sustainable materials and building practices.
The winners of the competition will not only enjoy fame and fortune (there is a cash prize), but their ideas will actually be put into practice in a to-be-announced US city, and could end up forming the basis for a new approach to city building.Urban Re:Vision is currently in contact with four different American cities, and hopes to eventually distill the ideas from its competitions into a single experimental city block, planned and built with an eye toward total, integrated sustainability. The group plans to partner with a local mayor, city agencies and a developer to get their ideas expressed in brick and mortar.
We are looking beyond what currently exists in sustainable building (i.e LEED) and trying to create a new approach to sustainable development.
Re:Construct is the fifth in our series and the last of our conceptual competitions. We are hoping that the potential building materials and/or new techniques that come out of the competition will ultimately be applied in some fashion to a site-specific location.
Our goal with this first series of competitions is to build a framework for a sustainable city block that will ultimately be applied to several city sites.
Need some more inspiration? Here are some points to consider from Urban Re:Vision:
Systems need to work together wherever possible. Construction needs to be multipurpose, efficient, livable, non-toxic, non-destructive, affordable, adaptable, and logical. Consider a Zero-Net Energy Built Environment. Think about dashboard technologies, biodegradable or 100% recyclable products, modular construction, green roofs, localized heat and power generation, LEED requirements and limitations, zero-waste, gray water and water capture, non-construction re-construction, daylighting, air quality, climate change requirements, solar, and cradle to cradle design.
We can't wait to see the results of this fascinating project.
More on creating sustainable cities:
Ecocities of Tomorrow: Can Foster + Partners' Masdar City in UAE be Truly Sustainable?
The 2008 Ecocity World Summit: "Ecocity is Beautiful, Ecocity is Possible!"
This Way to Treasure Island, Ecocity