About the Competition

About the Competition

Open-Ideas Competition Invites Innovative Design Entries for Downtown Redevelopment

Creative Action, in partnership with Urban Land Institute (ULI) Louisiana, the University of Louisiana Lafayette School of Architecture and Design, and AOC Community Media announces an open ideas competition for six downtown sites in Lafayette, LA. “[Imagine Downtown] Lafayette” invites individuals, students, and professionals to participate. Each of the six sites has a unique set of strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. Participants must select one of these sites and propose specific solutions to its particular challenges. The goal is to invigorate the urban core while also uniting surrounding neighborhoods and producing a 24-hour community.

Downtown Lafayette has developed from rural beginnings into a regional metropolitan center, boasting a thriving economy, rich cultural assets, and tight-knit community values. While Lafayette has many elements necessary to fuel its growth, many barriers remain in realizing its full potential as an innovative, sustainable city. The pervasive influence of the automobile has fragmented the historic urban core and has promoted sprawl throughout the city. Like many post-modern American cities, Lafayette is left with a landscape dominated by underutilized parking lots, inadequate pedestrian connectivity, and isolated neighborhoods. This condition presents opportunities where innovative urban development of these latent spaces can enhance urban living and cultivate a community of creative-class citizens.

Site considerations include increasing affordable residential and mixed-use density; accommodating parking needs; reinforcing existing plazas, parks and streetscapes; strengthening pedestrian and bikeway connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s main campus; facilitating public transportation; and developing a sustainable urban condition.

Registration opens August 30, 2012 and closes January 8th, 2013. All entries must be received by January 15, 2013. A single winning design will be selected for each of the six sites, with each winning design receiving a $1500 cash award. There will also be a public exhibition following the competition, in the spring of 2013 featuring the top-rated designs. Jurors will include local, regional and national architects and urban designers.

Those encouraged to participate include individuals and interdisciplinary teams of students, architects, urban planners, landscape architects, designers, real estate developers, artists, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs. Entry fee is $30 per submission. Full registration guidelines are available on the website.