The competition is supported by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), which owns over 2,000 vacant lots and has become a leader in reuse of vacant lots for community resilience and development.
Approximately 30,000 empty lots and abandoned structures dot the landscape of New Orleans today, many of them a legacy of Hurricane Katrina.
Future Ground aims to generate flexible design and policy strategies to forecast and accommodate changes in density, demand, climate and landscape in New Orleans over the next half-century.
"Future Ground...will provide big-picture thinking and implementable designs for New Orleans through robust collaborations between designers and policy experts, and by developing rigorous scenarios for the future city," said Van Alen Institute executive director David van der Leer.
"We’re proud that the latest project in our 120-year history of organizing design competitions will help catalyze change, and continues our tradition of producing innovative solutions to complex problems.
Teams will be selected from an international open Request for Qualifications process. Applications are due by September 29, 2014, and will be evaluated by a jury of national leaders in design and policy.
Each winning team will receive a $15,000 stipend, and will work closely in a six-month collaborative process with local stakeholders and national leaders to bring small incremental projects to the neighbourhood and citywide scale; develop policy to support promising design strategies; and make these strategies participatory and flexible enough to be sustained into the next generation.
The teams will produce solutions that may be applied to sites citywide, and can also help catalyse strategies for change in other cities around the world.
The Van Alen Institute will work closely with the selected teams to leverage this modest stipend to promote their work nationally and internationally and develop networks among the competitions Advisory Committee.
Future Ground is the first of several competitions to be launched as an integral part of Van Alen Institute’s Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape, a multi-year initiative.
For more information go to: www.vanalen.org/futureground