'Urban SOS' Student Competition Offers $20,000 for Creative Responses to Distressed Cities

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The "Urban SOS: Distressed Cities, Creative Responses" international student competition, sponsored by EDAW AECOM, is offering $20,000 for interventions addressing environmental, social, and economic challenges confronting cities worldwide. The competition is open to individual students or teams of up to four undergraduate and graduate students in design, planning, environmental studies, economics and related fields. Participants must register (via http://www.edaw.com/urbanSOS ) statements of intent by May 15, 2009; final board submissions are due July 31, 2009. The top four finalists will travel to Barcelona, Spain to present their treatments to a jury panel at the World Architecture Festival in November 2009.

The Urban SOS student competition, sponsored by EDAW AECOM, is offering students $20,000 in prizes for creative interventions to environmental, social, and economic problems.

Well-executed cities are vibrant cultural, social and economic centers and offer hope for addressing climate change and resource scarcity. But in many urban places serious challenges affect quality of life, limit opportunities and perpetuate inequalities. We want to encourage students' fresh ideas and creative solutions to a range of real issues.

Students around the world are invited to submit innovative solutions to the pressing environmental, social, and economic challenges confronting cities worldwide. The Urban SOS: Distressed Cities, Creative Responses student competition, sponsored by EDAW AECOM, is offering $20,000 in prize money to encourage creative interventions that have potential for lasting improvement.

"More than half the world's population now lives in urban areas," said Jason Prior, President of EDAW, an AECOM company. "Well-executed cities are vibrant cultural, social and economic centers and offer hope for addressing climate change and resource scarcity. But in many urban places serious challenges affect quality of life, limit opportunities and perpetuate inequalities. We want to encourage students' fresh ideas and creative solutions to a range of real issues."

The international competition is open to individual students or teams of up to four undergraduate and graduate students at all levels from all countries, in the design and planning fields--including landscape architecture, urban design, planning, architecture, landscape urbanism, economics, geography, engineering, environmental studies and related fields. In their submissions, students should address an actual site from any city in the world and develop an intervention that offers lasting improvement to problems ranging from economic collapse, environmental degradation, social disintegration, civil unrest, climate change or natural disaster.

To participate, students must register via the Urban SOS website and provide statements of intent by May 15, 2009; final board submissions are due July 31, 2009. Semi-finalists will be announced September 1, 2009. The semi-finalist teams will each be assigned a professional EDAW AECOM mentor who will work with the team to further articulate its proposed interventions. The top four finalists will travel to Barcelona, Spain to present their treatments to a jury panel at the World Architecture Festival in November 2009.

The Urban SOS competition is an evolution of the EDAW Intern Program. Since 1980, EDAW has guided students from around the world in holistic, cross-disciplinary approach to real-world projects involving issues of regional or international significance.

About EDAW
For 70 years, EDAW AECOM has shaped exemplary environments worldwide through a collaborative approach to design and planning. EDAW integrates design, master planning, environmental and ecological planning, and strategic planning and economic development to create productive, sustainable places. A global network of 34 offices and 1,800 professionals address complex challenges within a broad range of scales and contexts. Learn more at http://www.edaw.com.

About AECOM
AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental and energy. With 43,000 employees around the world, AECOM is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation, and technical excellence in delivering solutions that enhance and sustain the world's built, natural, and social environments. AECOM serves clients in more than 100 countries and had revenue of US$5.6 billion during the 12-month period ended December 31, 2008. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at http://www.aecom.com.

Contact:
Heather Topel
urbansos (at) edaw (dot) com

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