Team Fusion win 2021 ULI Hines student competition

East Village

A redevelopment plan for a Kansas City, Missouri, site presented by a team, called Fusion, comprised of students from Ryerson University, York University, and University of Toronto. The ideas contest provides graduate students the opportunity to devise a comprehensive design and development scheme for a large-scale site in an urban area.

This year’s competition asked students for proposals to create a thriving mixed-use, mixed-income area in the East Village neighborhood in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The challenge brief asked the students to address housing affordability, equity, transportation, mobility, sustainability, and resilience in their proposals.

The four teams that advanced to the final round of the competition were chosen from 105 entries by a jury of 16 leading ULI members representing a broad variety of real estate and related disciplines. This year, students formed teams representing 61 different universities in the United States, Canada, and Singapore, including 31 teams with students from more than one university.

“On behalf of ULI, I want to congratulate the winners and finalists of the 2021 ULI Hines Competition,” said ULI Global CEO W. Edward Walter. “I commend them for the creativity and hard work that got them to the final stage of this competition. I also want to thank our jury members, who have devoted countless hours of their own time to reviewing and debating the proposals put before them.”

The winning plan fused the East Village, Paseo West, and Kansas City’s Downtown Core. The team created a welcoming and affordable mixed-use development, where everyone who wishes to call it home, can. Designed around two key pillars, connectivity and resilience, this LEED neighborhood embodied inclusive and sustainable growth within Kansas City.

The Fusion team was comprised of Frances Grout-Brown and Leorah Klein, Ryerson University; Yanlin Zhou, York University; and Ruotian Tan and Chenyi Xu, University of Toronto. “Reflecting on this experience in its entirety, it’s surreal how much we’ve learned along the way,” the team said in a statement. We started the competition with a shared vision to create an inclusive, sustainable and welcoming neighbourhood that felt uniquely Kansas City.

“The 2021 ULI Hines Competition Finalists raised the level of creative thinking and technical execution delivered in the competition,” said ULI Hines Jury Chair Diana Reid. Fusion stood out as it pushed a new paradigm for an urban neighborhood based on the strong regional legacy of agriculture. Their financing plan and design enabled economic resilience through small scale food growth and distribution, local culinary incubation, and research-driven employment opportunities.”

Diana Reid continues “Fusion’s food-based approach and focus on inclusive and sustainable growth, created a complete vision of a new urban neighborhood in East Village, including ambitious housing affordability targets, smart community partnerships, strong pedestrian and multi-modal transportation, and connectivity to and through the site.” Source and images Courtesy of ULI Americas.

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