Blog Contributors

Craig Applegath

Michael Haggerty

Peter Howard

Raj Kottamasu

Must Read Books

Adapting Buildings and Cities for Climate Change - A 21st Century Survival Guide

by Sue Roaf, David Crichton, and Fergus Nicol


by Brian Walker and David Salt

Climate Wars, 

by Gwynne Dyer

The Vanishing Face of Gaia, 

by James Lovelock

Carbon Shift,

edited by Thomas Homer-Dixon

Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller,

by Jeff Rubin

Welcome To The Urban Revolution - How Cities Are Changing The World, 

by Jeb Brugmann


Resilience Science Blog by Resilience Alliance

HuffPost Green

Energy Bulletin: Website / blog regarding the peak in global energy supply.

Richard Heinberg's Museletters Blog

The Oil Drum: A website / blog providing peak oil related analysis's international campaign updates blog

RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists.

The Guardian Data Store


Competition Blogs

The Competition is now closed for judging and submitted qualifying blogs are now viewable in Competition Blogs

February 2010


Feb 14, 2010 8:40 PM
Craig Applegath

  Craig Applegath, Moderator /BIO

The 2010 Design Ideas Competition Is Now Open!

The 2010 Design Ideas Competition is an exciting opportunity for architects, city planners, urban designers, engineers, and landscape architects, including students, graduate students and interns of these disciplines around the world to contribute ideas about creating more resilient cities.


The purpose of the competition will be for you to explore ideas and opportunities for increasing the resilience of your city to the present and future impacts of climate change and peak oil. To this end, the 2010 competition’s theme will be:

   “Building Urban Resilience where you are with what you have.”

Like last year’s competition there will be a $1,000 CAN prize for best planning and design idea, but there will be an additional prize of $1,000 CAN for the best video mini-documentary.

New this Year!

This year, instead of asking you to put forward planning and design proposals for one of either two urban design scenarios, or one of two building design scenarios, the scope of the competition is now wide open for you to come forward with ideas for your own scenarios for increasing the resilience of the city you live in. In doing this, you are free to explore and develop broad based planning and urban design strategies for your city as a whole, or you could focus in on developing strategies for increasing resilience through specific building design strategies.

However broadly or narrowly you wish to cast your ideas net, your aim should be to develop ideas that are consistent with the competition’s theme of “Building Urban Resilience where you are with what you have.” But we should note that in doing so, you should not understand the phrase “with what you have” to restrict you to how much money you have, or how much political power you have, but rather what talents and ideas you have!

New Video-Doc Category

Like last year’s Design Ideas Competition, this year’s competition will provide you with the opportunity to put forward plans and strategies developed in the form of drawings, words and sketches. However this year, you will also have the opportunity to submit your ideas in the form of a video mini-doc (up to 10 min max length), either separately or in combination with your drawing and text-based submissions.

No Entry Fee!

This year there will be no registration fee! We have dropped the registration fee this year because we wanted the ideas competition to be open to as many people around the world as possible, and were concerned that, even though small, an entry fee might discourage entrants in cities and countries were their exchange rates would make $20 CAN a prohibitive sum for students and small scale practitioners.

Ideas Competition Blog

During this year’s competition we be encouraging competition participants to collaborate with one another through a Competition Forum Blog. This blog will be set up with the purpose of answering questions about the competition and offering participants the opportunity to discuss their project ideas and connect with others doing the competition.

I very much look forward to this year’s Ideas Competition as a great opportunity to further explore how we can make our cities more resilient to the present and future stresses of global climate change and peak oil. We look forward to your thoughts and suggestions on this year’s competition! For more information about this year's Design Ideas Competition click here>>

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January 2010 Site Renovations

Jan 22, 2010 9:25 PM
Craig Applegath

  Craig Applegath, Moderator /BIO

As you may have noticed when you arrived at our website, we are in the process of renovating the site’s graphics and structure.

In addition to the bright new banner that does a great job of announcing that change is underway, we will be overhauling the structure of the site to bring more content to the landing page, but more importantly, to increase the visibility of content related to the Ideas Competition and Blog.

The main purpose of the site renovations will be to create a website that focuses its energy on exploring and creating new ideas about resiliency, rather than simply discussing the problems associated with Climate Change and Peak Oil.

We anticipate that these renovations will take another couple of weeks to complete, so don’t be surprised if things look a little different each time you visit the site.

We very much look forward to hearing your thoughts on our renovations. Please post us an email or post a comment at this blog.

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Year in Review and Year Ahead

Jan 1, 2010 1:56 PM
Craig Applegath

 Craig Applegath, Moderator /BIO

Read More: Goals, 2009 Ideas Deign Competion Results, Michael Haggerty and Raj Kottamasu, Robert Shepherd


No blog site is complete without a New Year’s Day blog post including a year in review and goals for the coming year!


The past year has been both exciting and very productive! We launched the website in May of 2009 to encourage the planning and design community to get serious about increasing the resilience of our cities in the face of climate change and peak oil. Although we started with the simple first year goal of planting the flag by setting up the website with some useful resources on it, by the end of December ‘09, we had attracted 9302 unique visitors to the website, who made 57,213 page visits!

This is a surprisingly large number of visits for such a new site, but the interest in the site was probably indicative of both an emerging zeitgeist related to subject of resilience, and keen interest in the ResilientCity Design Ideas competition. By its close, the Design Ideas Competition had attracted dozens of registrations and entries received from around the globe. Entries included design proposals for cities in India, Mexico, Israel, Tibet, Germany, as well as the USA and Canada. The entries presented credible and implementable solutions that could be utilized today to move our cities towards greater resiliency.

The grand prize winner, “From the Ground Up”, by Michael Haggerty and Raj Kottamasu, of Brooklyn, NY, USA, examined how to create food self-sufficiency in the urban neighbourhood of Westside in Newark, New Jersey, while the winner of the Urban Design Category was “Food=Utility”, by Robert Shepherd at Grey Studio, in San Francisco, Ca. Shepherd’s entry presented a very inspired proposal to reclassify food and access to food, now considered as a commercial venture, turning it into a public utility.

This year also saw the launch of the ResilientCity Blog, a blog that focused on ways to create more resilient cities through more effective planning and design.


Where are we going in 2010, and what do we want to accomplish?
These were the two questions that a group of ResilientCity Contributors asked ourselves at an impromptu Ideas Workshop we held this past December. After much discussion we agreed that we would aim to accomplish the following three big-picture goals over the next year:

  1. Continue to make a viable space on the web for learning, understanding, and engagement–an evolving conversation rather than a static set of facts.
  2. As a means of accomplishing this, make the Design Ideas Competition the site’s main focus and “infrastructure” for this conversation.
  3. Use the ResilientCity Blog as a vehicle for connecting with readers/views to discuss the ideas and issues that are being explored in the Design Ideas Competition.


I think the new Design Ideas Competition will be an exciting opportunity to allow architects, planners, urban designers, engineers, and landscape architects around the world to explore the opportunities to develop greater resilience in their cities. To this end, the 2010 competition’s theme will be “Increasing resilience where you are with what you have", and it will have a number of new features that should both increase the quality level of discourse about resilience, and make the competition more interesting. These include adding a video documentary category for submission, as well as encouraging the competition entrants to collaborate with one another through blog and Twitter postings.

In addition to these big picture initiatives, we also plan to renovate the structure of the site to make the site’s content more accessible. We plan to change the landing page to be more of a dashboard that will give viewers access to the site’s key content areas including the Design Ideas Competition and Blog, as well as providing access to recent tweets, and links to key news items of interest.

I very much look forward to this year as a year to further explore how we can make our cities more resilient to the stresses of global climate change and peak oil, both through the 2010 Design Ideas Competition, and through the Blog. We look forward to your thoughts and suggestions on both content and the website itself. Have a happy and more resilient New Year!

Craig Applegath, Moderator

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December 2009

So...When is Next Design Ideas Competition?

Dec 29, 2009 9:40 PM
Craig Applegath

  Craig Applegath / BIO

Read More: Goals, 2009 Ideas Deign Competion Results, Resources, Resilient Design Principles, Urban Design Principles.

Yes, There Will There Be Another Design Ideas Competition!

Back in November of 2009 we posted a blog answering a question we had been hearing from a number of website readers: “Is there going to be another Ideas Competition, and if so, what will its focus be?”

The answer was: “yes we are”, and the focus would be something “we would be thinking about over the next couple of months”.

And So We Have

Over the past couple of months since that post, the network of contributors have been exploring the question of the Ideas Competition’s focus and timing. At a contributors workshop we held this past December 18th we agreed that the next Ideas Competition “should be much more open than the last completion in terms of the possible design and planning scenarios that could be explored”, but at the same time, it was agreed that “there should still be a strong focus on the goal of exploring how best to create more resilient cities.”

No More Pre-defined Design Scenarios

How should this be accomplished? Our workshop group concluded that in order to achieve this goal, and encourage the widest possible exploration of the concept of resilience, in the 2010 Ideas Competition, we would no longer be setting out any specific planning and design scenarios. Instead, we would ask participants simply to put forward compelling planning and design ideas that best demonstrate how they would propose to increase the urban resilience in the cities where they live.

New Theme For This Year’s Ideas Competition

The Workshop group agreed that the next competition would benefit from having a theme that would help tie all of the entries together at the time of their judging, and then exhibition on this website. The “theme” for this year’s competition is: “Building Urban Resilience where you live, with what you have.”

This theme emerged out of our discussion about how to help focus participants on better anchoring their planning ideas in the reality of the everyday life of the cities they live in. Although the competition jury will be looking for creativity and imagination in the competition entries, they will also be looking for the entries to be grounded in the realities of a real city. To this end, and as mentioned above, one of the new requirements in this year’s competition is the requirement for idea entries to be based in the city where the entrant lives.

No More Entry Fees, But Now You Will Have To Tell Us About Your Project!

Another new feature for this year’s competition is idea or creating an ongoing conversation about the ideas that people are exploring in their completion entries. In order to get over people’s natural tendency to keep their ideas to themselves, we are thinking that we will introduce the opportunity for competitors to show that they have collaborated through the blog and/or twitter during the competition, and as a result be awarded points for doing so by the jury!

We also thought that it would be a good idea to drop the entry fee this year, and instead require that all entrants send us at least one proposed blog entry that describes what project they are undertaking, and the key issues they are exploring. We felt that this requirement would increase both the scope and quality of discussion of how to create more resilient cities, and increase the overall quality of all entries.

New Video Entry Prize!

Like last year, we will be posting a $1,000 CAN first prize for the best planning and design idea submission submitted as a set of two A1 sized PDFs composed of some combination of plans, drawings, sketches and words.
For this year’s competition we have created a new entry category for the submission of mini-documentary videos. These would be 5 to 10 minute videos in a format that could be uploaded to our website and YouTube. This entry will also have a $1,000 first prize.

So When Will The 2010 Ideas Competition Launch?

We are hoping to get the official announcement of the completion on the website in the first week of January.

You Should Be On Twitter To Get All The Latest Competition Updates

We plan to use Twitter as a way to keep all contestants informed about the competition as well as to answer questions during the competition. You can follow us on the ResilientCity Twitter site we have just set up at @ResilientCity.

We are really looking forward to a great competition and look forward to hearing from you with your thoughts about our new competition. So start following us on Twitter at @ResilientCity.

Craig Applegath, Moderator

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What does climate change mean to you? Investigating local impacts of a global phenomenon.

Dec 6, 2009 8:16 PM
Craig Applegath

In the span of less than a decade, global warming has gone from virtually unknown to a household word. Climate change has become a popular environmental movement, a political hot potato, the focus of major international cooperation efforts, and created billion dollar world markets.

However, despite the popularity of the issue, climate change information is generally global, rather than local. It is difficult to understand or determine the influences of climate change on specific locations or communities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) creates reports highlighting the major global impacts of climate change, but as a reader of these reports, it is difficult to determine how this is relevant to me. How will the impacts of a global average temperature increase change my community?

As a long term resident of Toronto, Canada, I set out to find out for myself. What has happened to average temperatures in Toronto? As it turns out, it is actually quite easy to determine this – Toronto has a number of Environment Canada weather stations that have historical records of temperature data. I undertook a simple analysis of the available data to see what, if anything, climate change has meant to Toronto. All data used in the following analysis was obtained directly from weather station data, downloadable from

First, I decided to look at the mean temperatures in Toronto. Toronto has a number of weather stations; this analysis uses data from Pearson International Airport. This station was used because data is available for the longest continuous period of time of any weather station in Toronto, from 1940-2008. The results are presented in the graph below. Mean minimum and maximum temperatures are calculated by taking the daily minimum or maximum temperature recorded and averaging these numbers for the year.

Figure 1.1 – Mean average, maximum, and minimum temperatures and regression lines for Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, 1940-2008.

The above graph shows the actual recorded mean annual temperatures as dotted lines, with a linear regression line showing the trend. The equation for the regression line is included in the graph.

The data shows that on average, since 1940, Toronto has been experiencing an increase in mean temperature equivalent to 0.0159 degrees Celsius per year. Monthly minimum temperatures have been rising at a slightly higher rate, 0.0228 degrees Celsius per year, while monthly maximum temperatures have been increasing at a slightly lower rate of 0.0088 degrees Celsius per year.

In addition, the rate of increase appears to be rising. The table below presents the 10 years with the highest mean temperatures:

Table 1.1 – Rank of 10 years with the hottest mean temperature.

Of the ten hottest years, seven occurred in the last decade of data collection (1998-2008). None occurred in the first decade of data collection (1940-1950). The average temperature in the first decade of available data (1940-1950) was 7.4 degrees Celsius, while the average temperature in the last decade (1998-2008) was 9.0 degrees Celsius.

What does this prove? Well, it proves that mean temperatures in Toronto have been rising according to data collected at Pearson International Airport. This does not definitively prove that climate change is real, man-made, or caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Cities in general tend to be warmer than the countryside (the ‘urban heat island effect’) and it would be difficult to determine if Toronto’s average temperatures are increasing due to climate change, increasing development and sprawl, or a combination of both. However, based on data from Pearson International Airport, it is apparent that Toronto’s climate is changing.

By Peter Howard

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November 2009

What Do Designers Like Us Have to Offer the Local Food Initiatives?

Nov 12, 2009 8:57 PM
Craig Applegath

As the Grand Prize winners of the recent Design Ideas Competition, we were asked to contribute a blog posting that expanded upon or further developed some of the ideas that we explored in our competition entry.

To do so, we thought that we would reflect on what we learned from our presentation of our competition entry “From the Ground Up”, at a benefit for a youth farming program. Our co-presenters included other Brooklyn residents involved in local food initiatives. The event gave us the chance to consider what urban designers can offer people who are already making viable agriculture projects happen in our city. We saw three basic possible contributions a proposal like ours can make.

1. From Urban Agriculture to Food Systems

Designers can help by creating a framework for urban agriculture at scales bigger than individual project sites. Urban agriculture systems include food production, processing, distribution, and consumption as well as waste management. Individuals involved in urban food initiatives necessarily tend to understand and manage small parts of this process as they relate to operations. Urban planners and designers have the opportunity to consider the system as a whole – how resources flow from one process to the next, and how to match that flow with local needs. Our proposal imagined how neighborhood spaces could systematically welcome various food programs.

2. Putting Food Systems into Design Language

Designers can use the tools of architecture and planning to advocate for urban food systems to decision makers. This is a service designers offer every day to clients of other sorts. We were surprised to find very few official planning or design documents addressing neighborhood food systems comprehensively. Design language is a common and persuasive vocabulary used to communicate ideas about systemic change – to agency officials, funders, community developers, and the public. We expect and believe design language should become a well-deployed tool in the development of urban food systems.

3. Connecting Food with Neighborhood Systems

Leveraging an understanding of local concerns and infrastructure, designers can connect urban agriculture to other neighborhood systems. How can urban agriculture be a part of energy generation, waste management, transportation, or job creation? Our proposal suggested, for example, how food production could improve the public realm. Crime and safety are major concerns in Newark and affect perceptions of the city. We think by activating neighborhood spaces and buildings with food initiatives, we can create a safer network of active public spaces. The more connections established between food systems and local infrastructures and institutions, the more resilient urban agriculture will become. The capacity of food systems to withstand changes – including displacement by higher value land uses – will grow.

A visit to Brick City Urban Farm in Newark gave inspiration to our proposal. The farm is located on a 15,000 square-foot vacant lot on loan from a non-profit affordable housing developer. Two residents of Integrity House, a nearby rehabilitation center, are paid to maintain the farm daily. Neighborhood residents drop by to pick fresh vegetables – collards are most popular – and the farm supplies several suburban restaurants. The farm is surrounded by a simple chain-link fence, and nothing has ever been stolen.

Brick City Urban Farm is unplanned from a design perspective, but even so, the farm has improved the neighborhood public realm, responded to community needs, and connected the neighborhood to the regional economy. As designers and planners, we can help give form to these kinds of activities, and assist their organizers by strategically aligning them with neighborhood and city-scale development.

Michael Haggerty and Raj Kottamasu Design Ideas Compettion Winners

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The Next Design Ideas Competition!

Nov 1, 2009 8:12 PM
Craig Applegath

Over the past few weeks I have heard from a number of you asking whether we plan to hold another design ideas competition, and if so, what will be its focus or challenge?

To the first part of the question, the answer is a definite yes! Given the great success of the most recent competition in generating very creative and thoughtful ideas on how to make our cities more resilient, we thought it would be a very worthwhile to hold a second competition.

To the second part of the question regarding the focus of the competition, we would like to turn the question back to you, and ask for your input on what you think the next competition challenge should be.

 Should it be another design ideas completion, or should we shift gears and hold completion for papers on resiliency? Or should we do both in tandem, or sequentially? What kind of topics would have the greatest relevance and resonance? What questions or challenges would make you want to spend time developing ideas and designs? What was it about the last competition that you liked or did not like? What should we repeat, or not repeat? Should we be broader or more specific in our focus? Should we have only one challenge, or more (like the last competition)?

From the first completion we learned that there are a lot of ideas out there about what constitutes urban resilience, and that people are thinking deeply on this subject. Whatever type of competition question we ask, and format we select, we will want it to help us (and you!) come to a better and clearer understanding of the issues we need to tackle, and the methods we need to adopt to deal with creating more resilient cities in the future.

Please contact us with your thoughts, either through the Contact Page or as comment post on this Blog.


Craig Applegath is a founding member and moderator of, and an Architect and Principal at Cohos Evamy Integratedesign in Toronto

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October 2009 Day of Actions!

Oct 25, 2009 2:30 PM
Craig Applegath

Many of you have been following the work and ideas of writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben. Bill has written extensively on the environmental impacts of CO2 and climate change, but arguably his most important contribution of late has been his creation and leadership of the movement and its heralding of the all important number 350 – the sustainable maximum number of ppms of CO2equivalents in our atmosphere.

As a supporting member of the website I received the following letter today that I thought I should share with you


Craig Applegath is a founding member and moderator of, and an Architect and Principal at Cohos Evamy Integratedesign in Toronto


Letter from Bill McKibben / Sat 24/10/2009 9:35 PM

Dear friend,

Today in New York was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

As I stood in Times Square and watched images flood in from every corner of the world on the big screens, I finally saw what a climate movement looked like -- and it looked diverse and creative and beautiful.

Please head to and spend a few minutes watching the pictures. We need you to feel the strength of this movement, and to see how creative and committed this movement is, all across the planet.

It was so sweet to watch the day move around the globe, with thousands upon thousands of pictures appearing, sometimes a dozen a minute! There were photos of climbers high on the glaciers of Switzerland holding 350 banners, of bicycle parades from Copenhagen to San Francisco, of organizers in Papua New Guinea beating their church gong 350 times while churches in Barcelona rang their bells 350 times. Photos of activists protesting coal plants and celebrating wind farms, of students in 350 shirts repairing their flooded homes in Manila, and of thousands of people marching in the streets of Bogota and Kathmandu. Photos of people from different races and classes, religions and nationalities, coming together around a simple and powerful number to save our planet. Thousands took to the streets in Addis Ababa and Mexico City; we had huge parades in places like Togo and Seattle.

You were by far the biggest news story on Google, on CNN, on the front pages of newspapers around the planet. And these pictures were seen around the world, in newspapers from Beijing to Boston, on TV stations from New Delhi to New York, and on blogs, social networks, and websites across the internet.

Together, we've shown the world that a global climate movement is possible and set a bold new agenda for the upcoming United Nations Climate Meetings in Copenhagen this December. The 350 target is the new bottom line for climate action and world leaders must now meet that target.

We thought we would be tired after many sleepless nights planning this day, but in fact we're more energized than ever. We're preparing to deliver the photos and messages from your events to every national delegation to the United Nations on Monday, and planning to hand the photos to high-level ministers at upcoming climate negotiations in Barcelona and Copenhagen. So if you haven't uploaded your best pictures from the event yet, please do so right away by sending us an e-mail to with your photos attached, with your City, Country as the subject and the body as the action description.

Thank you more than we can possibly say. We'll (of course) be asking you to do lots more in the weeks ahead -- but today, lean back, relax, look through pictures at, and savor your accomplishment. You were part of what many journalists called "the most widespread day of political action the world has ever seen."

Together with millions around the world, you made a real difference already -- get ready to make much more in the days, weeks and months to come.

With hope,

Bill McKibben and the whole Team

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ResilientCity Planning and Design Strategies Development

Oct 4, 2009 10:02 PM
Craig Applegath

We are now in the process of developing a set of planning and design strategies for increasing the resilience of cities. The strategies that we are developing include:

Urban Design Strategies:

  1. Increasing Urban Density
  2. Increasing Public Mass Transit
  3. Increasing Pedestrian Circulation
  4. Increasing Bicycle Use
  5. Planning for Mixed Use
  6. Planning for Integration with Local Environmental Eco-Systems
  7. Planning for the Re-localization and Self-sufficiency of Food Production and Distribution
  8. Planning for the Re-localization and Self-sufficiency of Electrical Power Generation and Distribution
  9. Planning for the Implementation of Low-cost Residential Accommodation for Environmental Refugees
  10. Conservation of Nutrient Cycles in our Food and Waste Systems

Building Design Strategies:

  1. Increasing Robustness of Building Construction
  2.  Increasing levels of Building Envelope Insulation in New Buildings
  3. Re-cladding of Existing Buildings to Increase Building Insulation
  4. Increasing use of local and regional construction materials
  5. Increasing use of construction techniques and material that can be assembled by hand without machinesgies

If you have any thoughts on these, or would like to contribute some examples of instances where you think these strategies have been very effectively implemented, we would very much appreciated hearing from you. Please get back to us on this blog or through our Contact Form.

Thanks in advance!


Craig Applegath is a founding member and moderator of, and an Architect and Principal at Cohos Evamy Integratedesign in Toronto

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September 2009

ResilientCity Design Competition Winners!

Sep 26, 2009 2:21 PM
Craig Applegath

Thanks for your patience in waiting for the results of the first Design Ideas Competition!

Four months ago, the was launched to create a focus for debate and stimulate new ideas about the way we plan cities and design buildings. Then we launched our Design Ideas Competition to both encourage exploration of ResilientCity planning and design, as well as to generate useful exemplars for the Resources section of the website.

Our design competition resulted in more than 50 registrations and 22 formal entries received from around the globe, including proposals centered on cities in India, Mexico, Israel, Tibet, Germany, as well as the USA and Canada. Many of the entries presented very credible and implementable solutions that could be utilized today to move our cities towards greater resiliency.

The grand prize winner, “From the Ground Up”, by Michael Haggerty and Raj Kottamasu, of Brooklyn, NY, USA, examined how to create food self-sufficiency in the urban neighbourhood of Westside in Newark, New Jersey. Their neighborhood plan looks at how to provide a hierarchy of food production and processing facilities through adaptation of various kinds of ground. These are connected by a new green corridor system that is a space of congregation, distribution, and exchange. The proposal emphasizes, in particular, the ‘Resilient City Design Principles’ of Systems diversity, Systems redundancy, Local self-sufficiency, and Waste = Food. According to our jury, "The winner did a thorough job of understanding and interpreting all the principles of resiliency, and presented them in a highly legible fashion. The solutions used cultural, social and economic elements to effectively integrate a new food supply source into an economically viable model." Indeed, this was a very bottom-up, grassroots approach, very do-able in a neighbourhood context.

The winner of the Urban Design Category was “Food=Utility”, by Robert Shepherd at Grey Studio, in San Francisco, Ca. This entry presented a very inspired proposal to reclassify food and access to food, now considered as a commercial venture, turning it into a public utility. This concept would allow available public land to become arable, private land to be capitalized, and just-in-time processing methods that promote local and regional food access. With such a proposal, the rezoning of land becomes a key tool to changing the way food is produced and distributed. As the author states: ‘The project Food=Utility is a speculative proposal for reclassifying food and access to food; from a commercial prospect to a public utility. This proposal came in part, from an interest in using zoning models to produce planning strategies, which are generative rather than static, and from the recognition that zoning models based on commercial development models are insufficient for dealing with the problems associated with food and food access.” This concept was the most innovative one, and well thought out, but the jury felt that it might have pushed the exploration of its concepts a bit further.

In architectural category of submissions, the Jury awarded two honourable mentions. The first was the “Hydronic Deformation” proposal by L. Garofalo and A. Adderley, a project that explored how an existing curtain-wall clad high-rise building might be re-clad with a network of metal tubing that would circulate warm water to pre-condition air around the building, as well as to serve as a scaffolding for growing hanging vines for shading the window surfaces in summer months. The second was the “Urban Villas” project by Alexander Eisenschmidt of Chicago, Illinois, that explored the opportunity to create a low-rise mixed use urban block in the town of Quedlinburg, Germany.

The purpose of this competition was to stimulate dialogue, to get people thinking and talking about ways to meet the challenges of designing cities for a future faced with large population growth, significant climatic changes and more self-sufficient energy sources. To get people asking: How will our cities have to change to survive and thrive in this new environment? What responsibilities do urban designers, city planners and architects have to make the necessary changes? By this measure I think the competition was a great success!

I want to thank each and every person who responded to our call for entries. As those of you who have been involved in brainstorming sessions know, all ideas are good ideas when they are part of a process of generating creative thought. Please look at the competition entries on the website, and think about how you might build on them, or what they inspire you to develop. Post your thoughts and let’s create some dynamic dialogue to push the discussion to the next level.


Craig Applegath is a founding member and moderator of, and an Architect and Principal at Cohos Evamy Integratedesign in Toronto

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