Urban Design Award II

Young Visionary Architecture Competition 2023 - Winners


Dhairya Wadhwa | India

Project Title: Activating the Last-mile connection
Project Typology: Street Design

Project Description

Project Brief

This studio will focus on the design aspects of urban transformations within the existing urban areas. The underlying context is that Indian cities are growing rapidly in terms of population and therefore expanding physically. Increasing urban population and growing urban incomes will fuel the demand for more and more built floor space in cities accompanied by a demand for infrastructure. Many urban areas within these cities are dealing with unstable levels of stress on infrastructure, resources, and public services and are becoming increasingly unlivable. As an attempt to address these concerns, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoUHA) has initiated various schemes such as AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation), SMART CITIES MISSION, and HRIDAY (Heritage City Development and Augmentation). These schemes enable planning for developing infrastructure in the brownfield areas through mechanisms such as Local Area Plans (LAP) and Town Planning schemes (TPS). These typically include those parts of the city that are already developed but are not able to sustain the pressure of existing infrastructure. Students will work on the projects that are emerging out of these initiatives. Through their design projects, students will explore the methods of integration of the physical design with the regulatory frameworks (TPS, LAP) in creating livable, functional, memorable, safe, and sustainable urban areas. The projects will have a strong design focus on the physical setting.

Project Description

Activating the Last-mile connection

The upcoming transited-oriented development encourages compact city form which leads to densification within the limited available land. This will lead to further stress on public open spaces. The streets and the thresholds will form a very crucial public space. In the framework, apart from being a public street and recreational center, Netaji Road also safely connects people with transit stops, which enhances the usage of mass transport. 

The framework develops a coherent and cohesive response between the commercial and cultural character of the street with an integrated public realm. 

1st runner up

Noor Ammar | Iraq

Project Title: The Memory Of The City
Project Typology: Urban Development Of AL-Ashar River In The Old City Of Basra

Project Description

It is  one of the most important places in Iraq and Basra .The project is located in the southern Iraq specifically in the south of city center in old Basra area . 

The site included different of an architecture functions, like mosque,schools,culture and  heritage houses   around the river.

Problems :

Heritage houses area is one of the most important areas that have suffered from vandalism and the demise of important landmarks because of natural factors, wars, abandonment, neglect, misuse and trafficking in the areas. These change in the function of buildings and their historical features and many of them turned into other use that do not suit the nature of the region. The first challenge is the existence of heritage building that should be preserved ,second challenge is provide open space area with fabric -reshaping the riverfront to suit the urban context of the area.


The identity and heritage of the region represent the link between the past, the present and the future, and it is a cycle Continuous and consecutive across generations, so the idea is based on creating a continuous circle that represents the bridge between time periods. The idea is based on the introduction of culture into the life of society through the ring link that will link cultural and community events together, where it starts from the public library and leads to an urban gathering space for residents through other cultural events such as the museum the Folk Crafts Center and others.

This project is designed to discover the ways to develop this historical location by applying two points:

1-preserving the identity and historical value of the region by preserving its, most important historical feature, represented by a distinctive fabric with a spirituality specific to the region

.2-Work to activate the role of culture at the site by creating a dynamic linkage axis that works to link cultural activities starting from the public library with the longitudinal axis parallel to the river and leads to a gathering space, which represents the public assembly square, which will represent the heart of the project and be surrounded by a number of activities such as the mosque, cultural, social and entertainment buildings. The shape of the gathering space represented by this square is inspired by the shape of the traditional inner courtyard of the city to create a space that expresses the cultural diversity in the city of Basra.

Planning for the project was taking into account the historical and structural condition of the buildings, where the historical ones were preserved. As for the buildings added to the site, represented by the museum, crafts workshop, library, hotel, recreational and open areas, they were an alternative to the buildings with a dilapidated structural condition that were removed with the commitment as much as possible to the pattern . The traditional alleys and streets of the area

The idea of   the project is distinguished by using the climatic conditions of the site and the buildings by using traditional building materials.

2nd runner up

Riva Shah | India

Project Typology: Urban Street Design And Landscape

Project Description
  1. Streets are in essence public spaces that weave together diverse urban fabrics and transform the urban fabric. In the city of Gandhinagar, most of its streets are partially developed and utilized for only vehicular purposes. The ‘J-road’ is a 7.1km long road that divides the city into developed sectors on the left and still developing parts that consist of villages, river, and wilderness on the right. 
    The road is 90M wide road. However, only 36M of it is developed. The main function of the street has shifted from being pertinent public spaces to just a means of reaching places due to the lack of sidewalks for people to walk, and the lack of incentives for people to pause, with little to no lighting. Therefore the project focuses on activating the same road, with the provision of an active median, introducing a Multi-Utility Zone (MUZ zone), provision of wide sidewalks, and service and cycle lanes. 

    The MUZ zones are further characterized into three sub-zones

    1. Greeb zone - Bio-swales and rain forest, flower beds as a sustainable solution to storm-water management and attract pollinators, insects birds, and wildlife.
    2. Social zone - This allotment zone provides multiple incentives for people, from libraries, cafes, exhibition center, play areas, kiosks, etc. 
    3. Functional zone - Consisting of consistent parking spaces throughout for connectivity and accessibility to the social zone