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Urban SOS: An Open Ideas Student CompetitionAugust 1st, 2014

AECOM, Urban SOS, student competition, Urban SOS competition, AECOM competition, urban planning competition, urban design competition, landscape architecture competition,

AECOM is seeking submissions for our fifth student competition. The theme of this year’s competition is Urban SOS: Towards a New Industry. We are seeking integrated design, planning, environmental studies and engineering proposals in any urban context that relates to or improves the relationship between industry and urban development worldwide.

Projects should take the form of a creative urban design, landscape, architectural or engineering solution that re-imagines the challenges related to an abandoned factory or place of production. Proposals should identify a city with a derelict piece of infrastructure and develop an inspiring economically viable concept that reanimates part of the entire site. Students are encouraged to consider the potential for making and production to be a driving force for urban growth. Each proposal must address a plan for sustainable growth, asset improvement, revitalization, collaboration, technology and overall community benefit. Responses can range from a strategic framework to a surgical micro-response; from a whole landscape system to a single piece of architecture.

Entrants will be judged on their ability to demonstrate a holistic approach and embrace interdisciplinary thinking. The most successful responses will be those that are well-presented, combining the points of view of more than one discipline and problem-solving methodology, and are realistically feasible given pre-existing, city-specific conditions and socio-economic and political-cultural realities.

August 1st, 2014

August 1st, 2014



The winning team (or teams) will receive a cash prize. The total prize money is valued at US$15,000, which may be divided amongst one or more winning teams. Up to US$25,000 of combination of cash and in-kind staff time will be donated by AECOM to a charitable or humanitarian organization or related agency to help further develop the winning proposal.


Students can apply individually or in teams of up to four people. Entrants must be enrolled in a registered undergraduate or graduate program in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and planning, interdisciplinary design, engineering, environmental studies or other subject related to the built environment during the 2014 academic year. Students must submit a PDF presentation on our online application portal, A4 sized, with up to ten pages illustrating their proposal. They should also have a brief description (100-200 words) of their proposal on the first page. This statement must clearly identify the name of the city and a challenge or solution that is related to the ‘new industry’ theme. Those student teams interested in participating are encouraged to pre-register their interest to receive updates and news about the competition. The suggested deadline for pre-registration is June 1, 2014 at midnight GMT. The deadline for submission entry of August 1, 2014 at midnight GMT. The top three semi-finalist teams will be notified by or on August 1, 2014. These teams will be flown to New York to attend an evening charrette with a distinguished jury and the invited public, at the Center for Architecture on September 4, 2014.


The three final teams will be selected by a judging panel chosen by AECOM and comprised of design and engineering professionals from within the company.The three finalist teams will be invited to present their work to the judging panel at the Center for Architecture in September 2014. The winning team will be determined by the judging panel at an event at the Center for Architecture on September 4, 2014.