International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition is now open

ARC Competition Officially Launched
Design Teams from Around the World Hear the Call
Competition Challenges Design Teams to Reweave Landscape for Wildlife in a Cost-effective Manner Using New Methods, New Materials, and New Thinking.
Deadline for Expressions of Interest: 4pm MDT 30 July 2010.

Vail, Colorado, USA – Beginning today design teams have six weeks to submit their Expression of Interest in the first-ever wildlife crossing infrastructure design competition to be held in North America. The Call for Expressions of Interest can be downloaded from http://www.arc-competition.com, the hub for all official information about the ARC competition. Expressions of Interest must be received by 4pm (Mountain Daylight Time) on July 30, 2010 in order to be considered. The site of the competition will be along Interstate 70 (I-70) near West Vail Pass, Colorado. This will be a challenging location along a busy road at high elevation in the midst of the Rocky Mountains and which is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Originally entitled the “North American Wildlife Crossing Structure Design Competition,” ARC has changed its name to the “International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition” to more accurately reflect the global attention it has received and the expansive thinking it has spurred. ARC is a two-phased competition: Phase One is the Call for Expressions of Interest, emphasizing qualifications and design approach; Phase Two is the intensive design exercise undertaken by the finalist teams selected from Phase One.

“The international landscape design community is fully charged with excitement about this competition,” said Toronto-based Ryerson University’s Professor Nina-Marie Lister, ARC’s official Competition Advisor. “We hope the challenge to address the needs of ecology, transportation, safety, and infrastructure simultaneously will prove irresistible to the best and the brightest designers from around the world.”  Design teams must meet certain criteria in order to qualify. For example, they must include registered, professionally-licensed landscape architects, and structural engineers, and they may opt to include professional architects as well as other specializations. The expectation is that wildlife biologists, ecologists, transportation specialists and other experts will broaden the teams’ interdisciplinary design approach. In Phase Two, design teams must include at least one firm licensed to practice in the State of Colorado. “ARC has the potential to forever change the way society commits to and designs wildlife crossing infrastructure in the future,” said Jeremy Guth of the Woodcock Foundation, ARC’s main private donor, “we encourage teams to let their imagination run wild.”

That said, jurors will be looking not only for beautiful, compelling designs that meet the needs of both people and wildlife but also the use of materials that make infrastructure more affordable and, ultimately, our roads safer from wildlife-vehicle collisions. The Jury will be chaired by Charles Waldheim, Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, with other jurors to be announced when the competition begins.

An honorarium of $15,000 will be awarded to each of the finalists selected from Phase One. The winning design team from Phase Two will receive $40,000 at a public recognition ceremony during the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in January 2011, and will be considered pre-qualified by the Colorado Department of Transportation in any subsequent Request for Proposals to develop and implement a wildlife crossing structure along I-70.

“Especially in the midst of the current economic crisis, events like ARC (International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition) create a space for hopeful and proactive energy,” stated Dr. Tony Clevenger, Senior Wildlife Ecologist at the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University and the originator of the idea for the competition, “ARC is destined to spur excitement in the professional communities, to be sure, but also for the public-at-large, with its promise of economically feasible and
inspired designs.”

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About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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