Imaginative Solutions For Vacant Property

LANDvisions Neighborhoods Session

By Mitchell Gordon
Center City Weekly Press

Philadelphia LANDvisions is an international design competition that was recently launched to come up with imaginative solutions for vacant property in the city. Philadelphia was reported to have over 40,000 vacant properties, representing approximately 920 acres. Four local agencies are spearheading the effort, which includes community input and design competition. In May, a series of three town meetings took place at 30th Street Station, the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, and City Hall. These meetings were the community visioning part of the process, where brainstorming ideas took place.

The second phase will be the competitive design response to the ideas and issues raised. Entrants from around the world will submit their ideas in graphic and digital form. A jury will select between three and five finalists who will receive monetary prizes and proceed to the third and final phase, where the semi-finalists will develop strategies toward implementation of their proposed ideas. Final submissions will be reviewed by a prestigious jury, with the winner receiving a monetary award at a public ceremony. It is hoped that this competition will result in innovative designs which will influence the plans of decision makers in Philadelphia and help formulate principles and emerging best practices for issues of vacancy throughout the country (see Funding for the Philadelphia LANDvisions project includes: the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development, and the Samuel S. Fels Fund.

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