For the 2014 Hines Competition, 163 teams representing 72 universities in the United States and Canada proposed a development vision. The competition jury gathered in February 2014 to select the finalists. In the final phase, the teams will be given the opportunity to expand their original development proposals, which they will present to the competition jury during a public forum in Nashville. A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team, and each of the remaining three finalist teams will receive $10,000.
The ideas competition is designed to simulate an actual urban design and development scenario; there is no intention that the students’ plans will be implemented as part of any development of the site. The competition is based on a hypothetical situation in which the site owners, working together as the Sulphur Dell Development Corporation, have asked for a proposal that transforms the historic Sulphur Dell neighborhood. The owner’s request is made with an understanding of the market and nonmarket factors at play in building healthy places and of the value proposition of building and operating in ways that promote health. In addition to the guidelines stipulated by the site owners, it was requested that all proposals be conscious of other stakeholders since there are a number of either historic or new developments that are not intended to be redeveloped in the surrounding area. Student teams were challenged to best determine how to integrate those existing sites, while exploiting their assets in order to create more value for their proposed site.
The development schemes from the finalist teams are:
Georgia Institute of Technology: “Uptown Nashville” seeks to rebuild the current district identity to create a new and improved Sulphur Dell District. With the stadium development and other existing and proposed amenities acting as a catalyst, Uptown Nashville intends to leverage existing and future amenities to foster the creation of a healthy, diverse, and profitable community.
Harvard University: The “Sulphur Dell Market District” is a healthy lifestyle community that catalyzes the revitalization of the city of Nashville and is prototypical of resilient urbanism for cities of a similar size. The proposal is based on a landscape framework of layered strategies of ecology, mobility and food, along with creating the conditions for a diverse and resilient urban district that will continue to change and mature over time.
University of Maryland: The “Chords” development proposes a partnership between the existing private owners and the State of Tennessee. The design captures the experiences of a diverse group of people that are brought together by regional connectors, culture, living and fitness “strings.”
University of Texas, Austin: “Greenheart Village” establishes a new model of urban living, initiating the rebranding of Nashville as an active, healthy, and engaged community. Greenheart Village utilizes adaptive infrastructure to respond to environmental, social, and economic changes, fostering an environment that encourages adaptation as people engage their local surroundings and a changing world.
The Hines Competition strives to encourage cooperation and teamwork—necessary talents in the planning, design and development of sustainable communities—among future land use professionals and allied professions, such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, engineering, real estate development, finance, psychology and law. It is open to graduate students who are pursuing real estate-related studies at universities in the United States and Canada, including programs in real estate development, urban planning, urban design, architecture and landscape architecture.
The competition has been funded through a $3 million endowment from Gerald D. Hines, chairman of the global Hines real estate organization and a recipient of the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. A legend in the land use industry, he is widely known as a leader who pioneered the use of high-quality planning and architecture as a marketable feature of development in office, residential and mixed-use projects.