About the Better Philadelphia Challenge
Founded in 2006 in memory of Philadelphia’s iconic 20th century city planner, Ed Bacon [1910-2005], this annual competition challenges university-level students (undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral) from around the world to address real-world urban design issues in Philadelphia that have application not only to our city, but to urban centers around the globe. This challenge is organized by the Ed Bacon Memorial Committee of the Center for Architecture and Design.
The 2019 Challenge : Re-Imagining the Heart of Kensington
The Better Philadelphia Challenge is back! This year we’re seeking creative concepts for the Kensington neighborhood in North Philadelphia. How can the design of public space in the neighborhood around McPherson Square, from sidewalks and streets to landscaping and street furniture, help address the effects of the opioid epidemic, make the community safer, and improve quality of life for those in the neighborhood?
We’re specifically looking for design solutions that address the needs of longtime stakeholders in this neighborhood (homeowners and renters, local businesses, schools, libraries, and other community organizations) by helping to build resiliency in the community through stronger connections, social cohesion, and an improved public realm. We don’t expect that design will solve the opioid epidemic – nor do we expect you to become public health experts. We do believe that high quality urban design can help improve on-the-ground conditions for this community, especially when coupled with the public health initiatives and other social services that are already working in the neighborhood.