The Urban Design Challenge challenged multidisciplinary teams of planners, architects, engineers and others to create new urban developments that are more liveable, sustainable, resilient and resource efficient.

In a fast-paced competitive yet fun environment, nurturing collaboration and learning, seven teams of five students competed in rounds to find ways to create integrated water and energy systems that complement existing infrastructure for sustainable urban infill development. Participants rapidly learnt and applied the new urban water model SUWMBA  (Site Scale Urban Water Mass Balance) from the CRC Water Sensitive Cities and Infill Project to quantify the metabolic performance of alternative configurations of building, infrastructure and landscape design. This game-based tournament challenged masters students across architecture, chemical, civil and mechanical engineering, and planning students to explore performance-based design and planning options in realistic scenarios.

The Challenge took place over five days, comprising information sessions on water, energy, planning, and urban design, as well as site visits. Each team developed a management goal, mapped systems, quantified targets and responded to specific challenges through strategic planning and design propositions. They received real time and expert feedback from industry and academic judges, overseen by impartial referees. Following the intensive training, each team had three hours to build site-specific, architectural and engineering 3D designs from Lego and creative materials.

All teams addressed the scenario challenges of water security, peak electricity management and increasing urban density consistently in detail. Team 1, “Charly & The Consulting Factory,” and Team 6, “Urban-Niche,” were the winners of best designs. The independent judging panel was comprised of Sue Dewar (Lendlease), Nick Morgan (Brisbane City Council), Axel Braunsberger (Energy Queensland), and Brian McIntosh (International Water Centre).

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About Urban Design Challenge

The Urban Design Challenge successfully promotes collaboration and interdisciplinary work to design the cities of tomorrow.
What is the Urban Design Challenge?
Throughout workshops, interactive activities, field trips and group sessions with experts and leading academics, multidisciplinary teams work together on a case study to improve sustainable city design and liveability.
Teams compete in a game-based environment to solve this challenge.

What are the benefits of the Design Challenge?

  • Participants develop skills for collaboration and gain a multidisciplinary approach which are key to tackle sustainability issues of our cities.
  • Participants are equipped with knowledge and skills to enable more sustainable and liveable places.
  • Professionals get involved in sustainability issues and contribute uniquely from the perspective of their discipline. Consequently, more effective solutions are obtained with the contributions from each discipline harmoniously integrated.

Download the Brochure (PDF, 1.7 MB)

Future vision:

International Design Challenge Download the Brochure (PDF, 1.7 MB)