New proposed types of housing in Melbourne’s Middle Suburbs to address the region’s housing shortage

Los Angeles — AECOM and Van Alen Institute, with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, announced four finalists for Urban SOS 2017: hOUR City, a global student ideas competition that challenged multidisciplinary teams to connect more people in regions around the world to the opportunities found in contemporary cities.

An “hour city” radius — the distance people can travel in one hour — has historically defined the boundary of a city. However, with the forces of globalization and dramatic geographic, social and economic shifts affecting cities everywhere, the time has come to imagine new ways to connect people in suburban, rural and isolated urban communities.

The four finalist proposals and teams are:

Alternative Ways of Transportation, Bangkok, Thailand — Submitted by Wilaiwan Prathumwong, Perada Plitponkarnpim and Patcharida Sricome, all from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, the team developed a new, formalized multimodal pathway along one of Bangkok’s many underutilized canals, connecting isolated residential communities to public transit.

The Healthy City, Oakland, California — Submitted by Vincent Clement Agoe, Derek Lazo, Serena Lousich, Mark Wessels and Sarah Skenazy, all from the University of California, Berkeley, the team connects communities suffering from high rates of chronic diseases (e.g., asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the physical spaces and resources of healthcare providers, using traffic calming, recreational opportunities and new transit options.

The Holding Project, Belfast, Northern Ireland — Submitted by Sean Cullen and Chris Millar from Queen’s University Belfast, the team proposes a joint-housing and economic development plan in central Belfast, tailored to young renters aged 18-35. On publicly owned vacant sites, the team envisions new prefabricated micro-units that would save construction time and costs; tenants would set aside 20 percent of their monthly rent as savings.

New Suburban Living, Melbourne, Australia  — Submitted by Lisa Ann Garner from Universität Der Künste and Lauren Garner from RMIT University, the team developed designs and a planning process for new types of housing in Melbourne’s Middle Suburbs to address the region’s housing shortage and better meet the needs of residents.

Launched in May, hOUR City invited students to tackle urgent transportation, housing or economic development challenges facing cities around the world and to create outcomes that promote equal access to opportunity. Eighty-six teams entered, comprising nearly 300 students from 31 countries around the world and representing 114 unique academic disciplines.