By the City, For the City: A Public Space Ideas Competition

Earlier this year, the Institute for Urban Design (IfUD) in New York City asked residents how they thought the city’s public realm could be improved. New Yorkers across five boroughs responded with nearly 550 ideas. Now IfUD wants practicing and student landscape architects, architects, planners, urban designers, and artists from the city and everywhere else to respond to the challenge and present some design proposals. 

Designers are asked to “define a site” based on any idea from a New Yorker, and then create a brief proposal. IfUD writes that the brief shouldn’t be “too technical—the goal is to find great ideas that can capture the public imagination and start conversations, so even a single rendering qualifies; have fun with it!” All submissions are going to be published in an “Atlas of Possibility for the Future of New York,” which will provide a record of the vision the world’s designers see for the city. 

IfUD has convened a high-profile jury including architect Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Bary Bergdoll (Architecture Curator, Musem of Modern Art), Ned Cramer (Editor-in-Chief of Architect), Janette Sadik-Khan (NYC Transportation Commissioner) , among others. The jury will select ten projects to receive $500 prizes. There will be one prize for each borough and five at the jury’s discretion.

The winning ideas will also be included in an exhibition expected to be one of the main draws in the first-ever Urban Design Week festival, which will be held in New York City, September 15-20. Then, ifUD will also gear up planning for the 72 Hour Urban Action, which will be held in Long Island City, NY, in 2012.

Submit ideas by July 14.

Image credit: iFUD

3 thoughts on “By the City, For the City: A Public Space Ideas Competition

  1. Brendan Crain, IfUD Program Coordinator 07/07/2011 / 10:04 am

    Thank you for getting the word out about By the City / For the City to the ASLA’s fantastic community of landscape architects! We’re looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for New York’s future.

    If anyone has any questions about the competition, don’t hesitate to email us here at the IfUD at

  2. Walter Jenny 07/16/2011 / 5:40 pm

    We could use this for Oklahoma City. We’re getting ready to build a huge downtown park, and it’s a rare opportunity to do this right. Are you aware of it?

  3. We’re focused on preparing for Urban Design Week at the moment, but you should send us an email if you’re interested in talking about how By the City / For the City could be replicated in other cities. We’re always open to hearing new ideas!

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