Urbanite, a multimedia company in Baltimore, Maryland, unveiled a design competition
this week that offers $10,000 in prizes to teams that bring innovative design solutions to
bear on the pending construction of the Red Line, an east-west transit line planned for the city.
Introducing Urbanite Project: Open City Challenge, a project of Urbanite, the yearlong Exhibition Development Seminar at Maryland Institute College of Art, D center
Baltimore, the Maryland Transit Administration, and the Baltimore City Department of
Transportation. Self-organized teams are invited to compete for $10,000 in prize money
and the chance to implement their solution to the quality-of-life issues brought about by
the construction of the Red Line.
Baltimore, whose neighborhoods were once connected by a network of streetcars, is now
served by one light rail line and one subway line, which do not serve many east- and
west-side neighborhoods. The Red Line will link up with the existing rail lines, creating a
comprehensive transportation system for the city and connecting communities that have
been isolated by physical and socio-economic barriers.
Construction is estimated to begin within five years and could last up to five additional
years, bringing with it the usual noise, dust, traffic snarls, and limited pedestrian
walkways. This kind of disruption also brings opportunities, however. We are interested
in design solutions that take advantage of this period to create unique, vibrant, productive urban spaces. Artwork to mask construction walls? A string of community gardens along the route, with cookouts to draw the neighboring communities together? A walking mall that draws new businesses and art galleries to formerly boarded-up storefronts? Bring us your most inspired, innovative ideas.
The deadline for entries is June 3. For more information, visit www.urbaniteproject.com
or download the RFP here. AN information session will be held on March 8 at the
Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Those who cannot make it can send questions to
Winners will be announced in October.