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Call for Submissions: The Suburban Architecture and Planning Awards

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Just as art brings people together, the planning and design of neighbourhoods builds a sense of community. Innovative suburban planning and architecture can also change the narrative around suburbs. At the Birkdale Arts Festival, for the first time the INS will be profiling examples of excellent suburban planning, design and construction. These new ideas will challenge the traditional discipline of urban planning, architecture and design and point to best practices for enhancing the quality of life in suburban communities.

We are inviting architects, municipal planners, consulting planers and developers to submit posters profiling their work.  The five winners will be invited to present their work through a panel discussion.  Certificates and small cash prizes will be awarded. Submission details are available on the INS website.

Submission Requirements

Each entry is to be submitted as a PDF file, consisting of up to 5 pages of text and graphics no larger than 11” x 17”.  To facilitate in the judging process, an additional single feature image of the plan/ design/ program/ project is required suitable for becoming a poster for presentation at the Birkdale Arts Festival.  The five winners are required to design and bring their own posters.  Posters will become the property of the INS and Birkdale Arts Festival. 

The project name and location should be identified and must match the project name on the submission form.  By submitting the plan/ design/ program/ project, the applicant is granting permission of the Institute for New Suburbanism, media and institutional partners to highlight the submission.

Submissions should be emailed to:

Judging Criteria:

While there isn’t a body of planning and design that can solidly be called new-suburbanist, excellent planning, design and construction is occurring in the GTHA’s suburban areas and should be highlighted.  Awards are given for excellence in any of these areas consistent with the elements of new suburbanism defined below. Jurors will consider the following 10 elements.  Individual submissions that address one or more elements are welcomed.

The Institute for New Suburbanism considers that these 10 elements constitute a body of thought that at this early stage defines New Suburbanism.  Submissions should state one or more of the elements that the submission addresses:

  1. Planning and design that changes the narrative about the suburbs.         

  2. Planning, design and programs that promote urban, suburban and rural equity. 

  3. Research monitoring global changes affecting the suburbs being applied to design and renew the suburbs in the GTHA.

  4. Subdivisions and other community plans that replicate the most desirable aspects of suburban living.

  5. Designs, plans and programs that integrate suburban and natural environment sustainably.

  6. Smart suburbs and subdivision plans and buildings that prepare for and adapt to technological disruption.

  7. New suburb design in the GTHA that has learned from the renewal of older suburbs.

  8. The adoption of the best global suburban design and architecture in the GTHA.

  9. Great landscape and architectural design in the suburban context.

  10. Consultation, engagement and communication plans and programs that give voice to suburban residents, businesses and institutions.

Important Dates:

May 1st, 2019: Launch of Competition.

May 21st, 2019: Final deadline for submissions

June 1st, 2019: Winners notified

June 22nd, 2019:  Final award and Panel presentation

July 15th, 2019: Winning Posters placed on the INS Website