HALIFAX – For the 3rd annual Mayor’s Award for Excellence & Innovation in Planning competition, eligible post-secondary students living in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) were challenged to conceptualize how cities will function in 100 years. Applicants were provided a selection of questions as imagination foder for their entries – questions like, how will we get from point A to point B? What will our homes look like? What will we eat? And, where will our food come from? The annual competition became a fixture at the recently past IMAGINE conference at Dalhousie University’s School of Planning.
In line with the mandate of the conference, the Mayor’s Award was an opportunity for aspiring planners to get creative, to imagine what life could be like in the city in 100 years (or more), and to illustrate the importance of long-term planning. Although only post-secondary students were eligible to submit, the criteria was otherwise wide open, and could include any combination of words and images, hand-made or digitally constructed. The award, worth $500, was solicited by the School of Planning and the Mayor of Halifax, with submitted entries a focal point of discussion and interaction, during the IMAGINE conference.
Conference organizers and participants were asked to vote on the most innovative idea, with the award going to Kourosh Rad, whose winning entry is illustrated above.
Rad, an honours student in community design at Dal describes his poster as an homage to the metro network in Singapore, which fluidly connects the city center with its peripheries and the peripheries with each other. In turn, he chose to digitally illustrate the themes of food, nature, transportation, energy and place of living to represent a quasi-network of the vital components of future cities. Rather than speculate on where technology may be in 100 years, Rad instead opted for the innovations we have at present, such as urban farming and sustainable transportation, and emphasized that implementation of these initiatives takes time.
In terms of the conferences’ focus on long-term planning, Rad further commented, “If we have a vision for the future, we and future generations can enjoy living in better cities.”
Illustration by Kourosh Rad and provided by Lynn Roxburgh.