Building Magazine


Competition challenges participants to transform their cities

This week marked the start of the DIALOG sponsored 2014 Symbiotic Cities International Design Ideas Competition “Urban Transformations: Designing the Symbiotic City”. Open to planners, urban designers, architects, landscape architects, engineers, and ecologists, the competition challenges participants to transform existing cities into more resilient, climate adaptive, regenerative, symbiotic cities.

“Over the next 25 years, cities and the ecosystems they are an integral part of, face enormous challenges,” says DIALOG principal Craig Applegath. “The combined and interacting forces of climate change, fossil fuel depletion, deforestation, collapsing fisheries, and exponential human population growth will create unprecedented challenges for humanity, and our planet. The Symbiotic Cities International Design Ideas Competition is intended to generate critical thinking and discussion around these critical issues.”

Using some combination of diagrams, sketches, 2D and 3D drawings, and accompanied by an explanatory narrative, participants are asked to explore and develop planning and design concepts for transforming the city that they live in into a regenerative symbiotic city adapted to a climate-changing environment. Design concepts should explore key environmental problems associated to the city and transform ecologically destructive urban systems into regenerative, symbiotic systems.

Judges for the 2014 Symbiotic Cities International Design Ideas Competition include:

  • Craig Applegath, Co-moderator of and Architect and Principal at DIALOG, Toronto, Canada
  • Rahul Mehrotra, Director of Planning and Urban Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Boston Massachusetts
  • Scott Torrance, Landscape Architect at Scott Torrance Landscape Architect
  • Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director and Co-founder at One Earth
  • Stefan Schurig, Climate Energy Director at the World Future Council
  • Justin Ritchie, Co-Director of and PhD Candidate, UBC Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability
  • Jeff Schnurr, Executive Director at Community Forests International
  • Josh Taylor, Program Coordinator at Catalyst Community Development Society

Entries are due by September 21st, 2014 with the winning entry to be announced on October 21st, 2014.

For complete competition details, please visit

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