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Public realm contest launched for Cambridge, Massachusetts

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The City of Cambridge in the USA has launched a design competition to upgrade the public realm in its Kendall Square business district

The city government-backed project aims to create an open space strategy for the former industrial area which has seen an influx of new high-tech businesses and housing in recent decades.

The three-stage competition seeks ‘new thinking’ for Kendall Square’s public realm, connections, programming, and place making.

The winning proposal will be used to shape the character of 2 hectares of new open space planned for the inner city district which is close to the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Announcing the competition, city manager Richard Rossi said: ‘This competition offers an exciting and unique opportunity to shape the overall public realm not only through the design of open spaces but also by exploring creative ideas regarding connections, programming, and placemaking strategies.’

He continued: ‘Through this process, we look forward to a range of creative ideas which will ultimately result in an exceptional, visionary open space network that reflects the innovative nature of the area and will be an asset for the entire community.’

Proposals must create a cohesive and flexible framework for Kendall Square which can promote community gathering and connect public and private spaces.

The first stage will see team leaders selected for the competition’s second stage on the basis of their qualifications and approach to the project.

During the second stage participants will be interviewed by the jury and assessed on their overall team composition and organization.

The final stage will see teams participate in a design competition.

The competition jury includes Philadelphia Inquirer architectural critic Inga Saffron and artist Michael Singer.

The deadline for submissions is 19 August. A winner will be announced on 3 March.







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