All About Alumni / Summer 2015
Designing a Sustainable City

Out of 82 entries from around the globe, the design of two Daniels Faculty graduates brought home the top prize in the SymbioticCities 2014 International Design Ideas Competition


Illustration: Juan Caviedes and Negin Akhlaghpour

Reclaimed seawater irrigates urban farms in Juan Caviedes and Negin Akhlaghpour’s award-winning design. Illustration: Juan Caviedes and Negin Akhlaghpour

Out of 82 entries from around the globe, the design of two Daniels Faculty graduates brought home the top prize in the SymbioticCities 2014 International Design Ideas Competition. Incorporating wind turbines, vertical urban farms, water-treatment and waste-recycling facilities, and an artificial reef (built with discarded shipping containers) to help control coastal waves, the submission of Juan Caviedes and Negin Akhlaghpour (both MUD 2014) proposed a new urban development for the city of Baranquilla. Located where the Magdalena River meets the Caribbean Sea, this is northern Colombia’s largest port.

The competition offered Akhlaghpour (born in Iran) and Caviedes (a native of Colombia) “an open scenario” to regenerate any urban area of their choice, Caviedes says. “Coming from a developing country, you know the problems, and the effect of poverty.” Their challenges included coming up with affordable strategies for sustainable clean water, food and energy – adaptable to a growing population and a changing climate and sea level.

During their research, they surveyed creative solutions from all over the world. “Competitions are so demanding,” Caviedes says, “but you learn so much. It deepens your perspective of sustainability and its complexity.”

Watch: Negin Akhlaghpour and Juan Caviedes explain their goals for their “Responsive City” design:

Video by: Miguel Strother
 


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