Photos from the 2022 Systems Integration Urban Design Challenge – Courtesy Meadow Conrad
Do you want to help change the way cities grow, use energy, manage water, and address transportation issues? Do you have an interest in sustainable design, architecture, natural resources, or engineering? Do you like Lego?
Work with industry engineers and designers while joining your peers for five days of workshops, interactive activities, site visits, and team sessions. You will get the chance to learn hands-on about the intersection of these topics and apply your knowledge to your own design, while building valuable networking, teamwork, and critical thinking skills.
The Urban Design Challenge challenges multidisciplinary teams of planners, architects, engineers and others, to create new urban developments that are more liveable, sustainable, resilient and resource efficient.
2022 Challenge Recap
From May 23 – 27, three teams of students competed at the Colorado State University’s Powerhouse Campus, across three rounds to examine how water and energy systems can be integrated in the existing Fort Collins Foothills Mall and Midtown business corridor along College Avenue. The Urban Design Challenge encouraged students to come up with suitable ways to reconstruct the Fort Collins Mall to be more nature and people friendly, as well as incorporate water and energy system performance. This challenge was a fun and thought provoking environment for students to collaborate from the various programs of study such as Engineering, Construction management, Ecosystem Science and more.
The students spent the first two days learning about water, energy and transportation systems, regenerative performance, and low impact development. Additionally, students went to two site locations in order to gain an understanding of what the locations look like, learn about existing system performance, what needs to be re-constructed, removed, or changed for their projects. Each of the teams had to plan and design what they think would be integrated plans for the Foothills Mall and College Ave, while incorporating more water efficient and energy efficient ideas.
For days three, four, and five of the challenge, students would show their ideas to the judges and receive feedback while learning from each other.
2022 Challenge themes
1. Low impact water systems – innovative solutions are needed to manage and minimize surface water flows from and within urban developments. How do we develop systems that that use or mimic natural processes to manage the infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of water flows in order to address impacts on water quality and associated natural habitats?
2. Urban transportation modalities – The Midtown corridor in Fort Collins is a key transportation throughway with development goals that it maintain this flow but also create a transportation nexus for visiting, recreating, and living. How do we utilize novel transportation modalities and technologies to address the need to move people, goods, and materials that can improve the quality of urban living and reduce the impact of these systems?
3. Regenerative energy systems (linked to #2 – energy for transportation hubs) – Regenerative energy systems challenge the paradigm of energy supply and demand to create net positive energy communities. How can we look the synergies of renewable energy, circular systems, grids, building systems, and energy recovery to create energy contributing communities?
Intersecting all these themes is a need to develop smart and connected communities to enable innovate solutions.
Your multidisciplinary team will work together on a redeveloping an urban area, to think critically and help address growing water, energy, and development issues that cities face every day.
Recognition, prizes, and benefits
With opportunity for multiple winners across performance, design, and character, teams will be recognized through awards, prizes, and publicity. Several observers will be recruiting students for summer and follow on work engagements.
You will be able to…
- Use critical thinking around key issues influencing city design and management
- Employ your understanding of multiple fields to solve real-life problems related to urban growth, water and energy supply, security and efficiency
- Hear from researchers and industry professionals working in the domain of water, energy and transportation
- Evaluate the key issues and trends in urban water, energy and transportation management and their interconnections
- Network with peers and potential employers
- Understand the relationships between water, energy, and transportation in urban water systems and be able to identify how to reduce water-related energy use and improve transportation modalities
- Formulate strategies for implementing change in urban water management to influence energy and water efficiency
Schedule and Speakers
- Days 1 and 2 include interactive actives, lectures from guest speakers, and site tours
- Who is eligible to participate?
All Colorado State University current and recent graduate students and rising undergraduates are eligible for participation. External professions are also eligible to participate. 5 full scholarships are available. (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for specifics and questions).
Some relevant disciplines include:
- Civil, Chemical and Biological, Environmental, Mechanical, Systems Engineering
- Watershed Sciences
- Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
- Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
- Electric power and energy systems
- Urban Planning and Real Estate, Construction
- Landscape Architecture and Design