Out of 118 teams from 60 universities that entered the competition in 2017, four were selected as finalists. The University of Texas at Austin team was chosen by the Hines Competition jury as the winner for its proposal, “Rooted” , which builds upon the “inherent power of food culture” and on Chicago’s identity as a major source of food production, processing, and distribution.
Rooted proposes a new urban community centered on food production, workforce development in food-based industries, and places for food entrepreneurs to live, work, and thrive. New residential units—that range from affordable to market-rate—inject a 24/7 energy and a mixed-use vibrancy into the site. The proposal envisions strong links to transit networks and adjacent neighborhoods, a pedestrian bridge across the Chicago River, and new opportunities for walking and biking.
For the five students on the winning team, the experience was transformative and illustrative of the multidisciplinary, collaborative nature of careers in urban development. Christopher Perkes, who is pursuing a joint master’s degree in community and regional planning and sustainable design, led the team, composed of Luke Kvasnicka, a master’s student in architecture; Miles Payton, a master’s student in landscape architecture; Mason Rathe, a master’s student in business administration; and Kirsten Lynn Stray-Gundersen, a master’s student in architecture. Simon Atkinson, professor of community and regional planning, and Edna Ledesma, lecturer at the School of Architecture, served as team advisers.
Jury chair Teri Frankiewicz and jurors Rameez Munawar and Betsy del Monte analyze a development proposal submitted by one of the 118 student teams that entered the competition.
“My experience in the Hines Competition was an inflection point in both my life and career,” says Perkes. “It reinforced my belief that as much as we may desire it, our world is not so simply boiled down to clear professional lines. The built environment and all those who live in and interact with it require complex solutions from innumerable perspectives.”
Perkes adds: “Overall, it was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, and has already proved itself invaluable in my personal, professional, and academic endeavors.”
Learn more about the ULI Hines Student Competition and “Rooted”, the winning proposal of the University of Texas, Austin, student team.