Indeed, the ultimate aim of the European vision of the city is to make society, in other words to bring together people of all conditions and origins. However, the dominant trend towards individualisation, the quest for autonomy, cannot be ignored. This is precisely the contradiction that Europan addresses: on the one hand wanting the city – i.e animation, communal life, people – and on the other side wanting intimacy, privacy, home and the immediate circle.
Europan launched the tenth session of their young architects’ competition series yesterday. This year’s topic is inventing urbanity : regeneration, revitalization, colonization.
Whereas the subtopics make sense, the title appears to be far-fetched. Do we need to ‘invent’ urbanity? The principles of urban life are well understood since the first criticism of modern planning had been advanced.
On the other hand I welcome that the recent Europan sessions (‘European Urbanity: Sustainable City and New Public Space’) are much more concerned with density and the urban condition than earlier issues (‘New Housing Landscape’, ‘In-between Cities’). This year’s brief emphasizes equally social and ecological issues.
Participation is limited to the young (i. e. under 40) architect who has 62 competition sites to choose from – 12.000€ for the winner, 6.000€ for the runner-up. The sites are grouped into 3 subtopics –
those that must undergo a strong transformation (regeneration), those that must both keep their identity and redynamise their programme (revitalization) and those that must undergo a development (colonization).
UPDATE: I have put together an overview table of all the competition sites for easy comparison (pdf):
UPDATE II: Check out the hard-to-find page with the registration statistics. Typical diploma projects come out on top, as of 8th of march 101 registrations for Dunkerque, a harbour pier transformation.
From the Europan Site:
Launching : 19 01 2009
End of registrations: 29 05 2009
Entries: 29 06 2009
Results: 18 01 2009
Questions on the sites via the internet forum
Closing date for submitting questions about the sites
Friday, May 1, 2009
Closing date for grouped answers about the sites
Friday, May 15, 2009
Questions on the rules via the internet forum
Closing date for submitting questions on the rules
Friday, May 29, 2009
Closing date for grouped answers on the rules
Friday, June 12, 2009
Submission of entries
Closing date for submitting or sending entries
Monday, June 29, 2009
Closing date for receipt of entries sent on June 29, 2009 by express delivery or by post
Monday, July 20, 2009
Shortlisting of entries by the national juries
Comparative European analysis by the committee of the shortlisted project ideas, followed by the Cities and Juries Forum based on this analysis
Final selection of entries by the national juries
December 2009 – January 2010
Announcement of results
Monday, January 18, 2010
International presentation of results