PLAN 74: Article
Planning Students Sweep Affordable Housing Awards

First, Second and Third Place Honors, As Well As Honorable Mention

In a virtual sweep this spring, ten students from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning were members of winning teams that captured first, second and third place honors, as well as honorable mention, in the 2009 Affordable Housing Development Competition.

Sponsored by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston – in conjunction with the Boston Society of Architects/AIA, Kevin P. Martin & Associates, Citizens\\\\\\' Housing and Planning Association and ICON Architecture – the annual competition pairs teams of talented graduate students with affordable housing organizations to develop proposals for housing in which at least 40% of the units could be sold or rented to low-income households.

Over the course of seven weeks this spring, the competing teams worked on plans for five different sites in Massachusetts – Dudley Square, Somerville, Nantucket, Chelmsford and Chinatown – and one in Providence RI. The proposals included plans for design, finance, community engagement, environmental sensitivity and feasible implementation.

The $10K first place team included MCP candidates Daniel Daou, Laura Delgado, Haley Herd, Aditi Mehta and Kristin Simonson, along with Chris Gaudet of the Sloan School and Sam Lee of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Working with faculty advisor Tunney Lee – and design mentors Kendra Halliwell of ICON Architecture and Michael Rosenberg of Bank of America – the team proposed a community-driven, transit-oriented, mixed-use, mixed-income development at Phillips Square in Boston’s Chinatown.

Addressing the community’s urgent need for workforce family housing and desire for civic space, the entry proposed converting the 1920’s Verizon building, its adjacent annex and the surrounding lot into an apartment building with ground-?oor retail and a branch of the Boston Public Library, all linked together with new open spaces.

The development would create a northern gateway to Chinatown and reestablish a corner of the district’s historic urban fabric, providing an important public space for gathering and relaxing. Designed to fit comfortably into the neighborhood context, and to meet LEED Silver certi?cation standards, the project would be realized through a combination of public and private funds.

The second place team, including MCP candidates Yuxuan Huang and Andres Sevstuk, won $6K for its Polycorp Village proposal; and the third place team, including MCP candidates James Madden and Sole Mendez, won $2500 for its Uptown on Dudley proposal. The fourth place team, receiving honorable mention for its Village at South Chelmsford proposal, included MCP candidate Bernadette Baird-Zars.

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