A multi-disciplinary team from Ryerson University, York University and University of Toronto are the first Canadian team to win the prestigious Urban Land Institute / Gerald D. Hines Student Design Competition. Supported by Weston Williamson + Partners Senior Associate Raymond Lee as Professional Advisor, the team of comprising of Frances Grout-Brown, Leorah Klein, Yanlin Zhou, Ruotian Tan and Chenyi Xu took home the top prize out of 105 entries from 61 universities to win this year’s contest.
Raymond Lee, Senior Associate at WW+P, supported the team through the competition sharing his international urban design and masterplanning expertise with them. As well as leading WW+P’s urban design and masterplanning projects across Greater Toronto, Raymond is a member of the ULI’s Transit Orientated Communities (TOC) Advisory Council. The panel’s role is to support regional municipalities in the development of TOCs ensuring a successful outcome for these sites.
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) / Gerald D. Hines Student Competition provides graduate students the opportunity to devise a comprehensive design and development scheme for a large-scale site in an urban area. This year’s competition asked for proposals to create a thriving mixed-use, mixed-income area in the East Village neighborhood in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The winning team created a welcoming and affordable mixed-use development, where everyone who wishes to call it home, can. Designed around two key pillars, connectivity and resilience, this LEED neighborhood embodied inclusive and sustainable growth within Kansas City.
Raymond Lee said “I am thrilled for the Fusion team. Making life better for people has long been the purpose of urban design and the ethos of this ideas competition. In a world where change is constant, it is crucial for multi-disciplinary teams to engage and develop solutions for better communities. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to advise the team, and experience the students from urban design, planning, and real-estate finance backgrounds work collaboratively to formulate a deliverable vision. They not only exceeded the challenge of providing a sustainable development, but they did so under pandemic conditions. Throughout the design process they ensured the social and environment elements were taken into consideration. It was a privilege to witness the team take what they are passionate about and work together with the purpose of making life better by design. Many thanks to Steven Webber, Ryerson University faculty member, for inviting us to be a part of the team.”
“Reflecting on this experience in its entirety, it’s surreal how much we’ve learned along the way. We started the competition with a shared vision to create an inclusive, sustainable and welcoming neighborhood that felt uniquely Kansas City. Though each member of the team brought different skills to the table, we were strongly aligned in our aspirations for the site and were proud to present our proposal rooted in enabling physical and social connectivity and achieving economic and environmental resilience.” Fusion team statement