Urban Lab Launches Public Design Competition – Press Release

The revitalization of the Mason Street transportation corridor has been an exciting development taking shape in Fort Collins over the past few years. Now a group based at CSU wants to make it even better through a sustainable design competition. The Urban Lab, housed in the College of Health and Human Science’s Institute for the Built Environment (IBE), is a collaboration which includes members of IBE, the City of Fort Collins, and the Downtown Development Authority.

The Urban Lab is in the process of developing the guidelines for a public design competition to be launched in early 2016.

Centered on the Mason Street downtown corridor between Laurel and Mulberry, the competition invites local, national and international student and professional design teams to propose improvements, excluding the railroad right-of-way. The goal of the competition is to inspire design possibilities that create a unique and memorable experience for those who visit the area and enhance vehicle safety and the pedestrian environment.

At the upcoming Dec. 4 First Friday Art Walk, the Urban Lab will hold a public event to solicit additional feedback from on the proposed format of the competition as well as the specific requirements that competitors should prioritize. At last year’s community feedback event, more than 200 members of the community participated, leaving their ideas as words and pictures. By the end of the event, over 300 square feet of drawing paper on the venue’s walls was covered with community input for the Mason Corridor.

Other current Urban Lab initiatives include: the installation of the first ‘living wall’ in Fort Collins, to be located on the new City of Fort Collins Utilities Administration Building on the corner of Howes and Laporte and scheduled for the spring of 2016, as well as the development of design and implementation guidelines for the Nature in the City Program, also in cooperation with the City of Fort Collins.

Please visit urbanlab.colostate.edu for updates on the competition and to provide ideas and feedback on the on online message board. To learn more about the Urban Lab and the Mason Street competition, contact Colin Day, Urban Lab Coordinator at the Institute for the Built Environment at CSU: (970) 491-5041, Colin.Day@colostate.edu.