Skip to content →

Cornell Team Wins Student Design Competition at APA National Conference


In its second year of the program, the American Planning Association (APA) has announced that the Cornell team has won the annual Student Design Competition. The project from Cornell was selected among three finalists, which included teams from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, chosen to present at the APA National Conference in New Orleans.

The jury comprised of representatives in the APA’s Division and the Student Representatives Councils. Each of the finalists responded to the competition’s theme of a “sharing economy,” emphasizing the model of new peer-to-peer interfaces and sharing activities amongst communities that are trending in cities globally. Focusing on the Iberville neighborhood in New Orleans, the Cornell team was tasked to develop “appropriate strategies to address the problems of a poor neighborhood suffering displacement and transformation after Hurricane Katrina,” said CRP chair Jeffrey Chusid.

NOLA Shares concept plan.

The team’s project NOLA Shares demonstrates an integrated and equitable sharing economy model for the Iberville Neighborhood through virtual interfaces and physical kiosks. The team approached the competition through the lenses of equity, accessibility, and community-building. “By providing physical kiosks at strategic points within Iberville, the team aimed to address the technology-dependency of traditional sharing economies,” adds team leader Anna Callahan. The web and app-based platform, NOLA Shares, would be used by Iberville residents to facilitate resources, knowledge, and other amenities shared between members of the community.

Complementing the concept plan, the team developed six specific sub-programs, designed with the existing Iberville neighborhood in mind. The project attempts to address perceived gaps of service within the neighborhood by using sharing economy technologies and physical anchors throughout the Iberville development.

The team envisioned NOLA Shares to strengthen social and economic bonds between the long-time residents of the Iberville community and the new population to the area. Team member Hannah Plummer stated, “This area is experiencing massive neighborhood changes, and we see NOLA Shares as one way to create and nurture a cohesive neighborhood identity.”

The team (L-R): Anna Callahan, Hannah Plummer, Thomas Pera, and Kari Spiegelhalter.

This competition encouraged student teams to encompass students of different academic backgrounds. This year, the team comprised of team leader Anna Callahan (M.R.P. ’18), Thomas Pera (M.R.P. ’18), Hannah Plummer (M.R.P. ’18), and Kari Spiegelhalter (M.L.A. ’18), who joined the team from the Department of Landscape Architecture at Cornell.

All the finalists presented their projects to the Design Competition jury on April 22nd, with the winner announced on April 24th. The Cornell team was awarded $1000.

Published in Events New Blog Posts Student Blogs

Skip to toolbar