Despite no first prize winner, competition to rethink urban growth in China produces some big ideas

(Courtesy Marcos Betanzos)

(Courtesy Marcos Betanzos)

To address the urgent and emerging issue of urban development in China, Creativersal and the International Union of Architects (UIA) staged the Mount Lu Estate of World Architecture (MOLEWA) competition.

The program took a long-range and somewhat utopian view of the matter. “Rather than an unchecked flow to the big cities, the strategy endeavors to evolve existing medium-sized population centers naturally into prosperous, sustainable, clean and rationally distributed ‘new cities’,” states the competition website. “To be viable, these cities must not only be functionally complete and efficient, but also beautiful and pleasant.”

Responding to an existing master plan of the site, a riverside city in the foothills of Mount Lu called Ruichang with a population of 430,000, professional and student teams were invited to propose solutions for residential and commercial/cultural sectors.

Diverse—but apparently not definitive, as the jury declined to award a first prize—the submissions came from 40 countries. Instead, they recognized two second-place winners and three third-place winners in each of the two categories.

Work on the 20-hectare project is expected to commence in 2016.

(Courtesy Marcos Betanzos)

(Courtesy Marcos Betanzos)

The third-place winners in the residential division:


(Courtesy Gabriel Pablo Martinez)


(Courtesy Georges Hung)


(Courtesy Gojko Radic)

A second-place winner of the residential category:


(Courtesy Mara Gabriela Partida Munoz)

An Honorable Mention entrant in the residential category:


(Courtesy Stephane Hof)

The third-place winners of the commercial/cultural category:


(Courtesy Joana Moreira)


(Courtesy Kristina Sahlestrom)


(Courtesy Stephen Chan Kwok Kin)

A second-place winner in the commercial/cultural category:

(Courtesy Marcos Betanzos)

(Courtesy Marcos Betanzos)

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