Through its previous events, SHIFTboston has asked designers to rethink Boston, rethink experiencing Boston Harbor, even rethink the Moon. This time, SHIFTboston wants you to rethink… a commuter rail line?
For “WHY STOP?”, SHIFTboston has partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan (great name, huh?) to challenge “urban planners, architects, urban designers, designers and landscape architects — professionals and students — to explore and visualize destinations along the proposed South Coast Rail extension, which will connect Boston to Taunton, New Bedford, and Fall River, Massachusetts.”
This is a great idea. As a Bostonian that doesn’t own a car, the idea of traveling out to New Bedford or Fall River would need to include a lot of planning — let alone a reason for making the trek. Why would we go through the effort?
This is where SHIFTboston comes in.
The planned extension of commuter rail lines from Boston’s South Station to the Massachusetts South Coast has the capacity for broader re-conception and re-imagination of the region. We encourage competitors to investigate and to explore the potential of this new network and its RESOURCES. Competitors might animate the rail system by adding to or enhancing the latent urban NETWORK. These NEW destinations could draw from the regional and local resources, industry and culture such as, universities, agriculture, arts, marine industry, historical institutions, tourism and recreation. FUN? Consider what has not yet been considered — contemporary communal and PUBLIC meeting places, open markets for local food production, a regional cultural campus of performance space and theaters connected by rail, or new research and development campuses or dense residential districts. The submission might explore these stopping points along the rail as part of system of supporting links which make up a greater network. The competitor might also choose to focus on further developing the central core of one or more of the cities on the line, such as Fall River or New Bedford.
Competitors can choose to submit a proposal for one of four locations: the New Bedford stop, the Fall River stop, Environment, or “You Tell Us” (which sounds at once like a cop out AND much more complex).
The jury includes representatives from architecture, urban planning, academia, and government:
- Julia Czerniak, Director of UPSTATE and Associate Professor at Syracuse University School of Architecture, Syracuse, NY
- Diane Georgopulos, Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (Mass Housing), Boston, MA
- Greg Guimond, Deputy Director and Comprehensive Planning Manger of the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD), Taunton, MA
- Scott Lang, Mayor, New Bedford, MA
- Edward Mitchell, Assistant Professor at Yale University School of Architecture and Principal of EMA, New Haven, CT
- Chris Reed, Principal and Founder of Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Boston, MA
- Adèle Naudé Santos, Dean of Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture, Cambridge, MA and Principal of Santos Prescott and Associates, San Francisco, CA
- Michael Sorkin, Principal of Sorkin Studio, New York, NY
The winning competitor, as chosen by the jury, will present his or her concept at the SHIFTboston WHY STOP Forum in Boston in October among members of the jury, government, community and business leaders, local developers and regional economic development groups.
The winning entry will be featured in a new game for mobile devices which will be featured at the Forum and as part of the WHY STOP Exhibition. Winning and select submissions will be on public display as part of a traveling exhibition which will begin at South Station in Boston, the New Bedford Public Library and then Fall River begining in January of 2012.
Interested in submitting an entry? The deadline for submissions is one month from yesterday, Friday, September 16, 2011. To register, visit http://shiftboston.org/competitions/register.php