By Martin Hering
Published September 21, 2011
This fall, the City of Hamilton will be awarding its 2011 Urban Design and Architecture Awards for the fourth time - and you are invited to vote for one of these awards, the People's Choice Award.
If you want to participate, you need to cast your vote for your favourite urban design project. Please vote soon: voting closes on October 10.
The city created the biennial Urban Design competition in 2005 "to recognize and celebrate excellence in the design of our urban environment". Since the awards' emphasis is on exterior design, the nominees include not only buildings - both new structures and heritage buildings - but also a variety of other works that improve urban design, such as streetscapes, parks, and planning studies.
In past competitions, the jury gave out awards of excellence and merit in many different categories: urban design, architectural design, heritage restoration, community design, adaptive reuse, sustainable design, and a few others.
This year, there are 36 nominees for the Design Awards. All were completed between 2009 and 2011.
A few nominees are big and well known: the Lister Block, City Hall, the Public Library and Farmers' Market, the MacNab Transit Terminal, and CANMET. But there are many other nominees that are less known - or pretty much unknown - and thus worth a closer look.
Have you heard of the "Hamilton Laneway Housing Study"? Are you familiar with the "Gore Master Plan"? Have you walked across the "East Hamilton Waterfront Link"?
This year, the jury who will decide on the Design Awards includes five architects, urban designers, and urban planners: Bruce Cudmore (EDA Collaborative), Jennifer Keesmaat (DIALOG), and Stasia Bogdan (Ministry of Health and Long-term Care), as well as two representatives from the city: Paul Mallard (Director of Planning) and Tim McCabe (General Manager, Planning and Economic Development).
The judges will study presentations and photos of each project and carefully evaluate them, looking at appropriateness, building and landscape design, sustainability, quality, and innovation.
The criterion for the People's Choice Award is simple: which nominee do citizens like best? Use the opportunity to participate in the 2011 Urban Design Awards and choose your favourite project!
Full disclosure: our house - Hambly House - is one of the nominees. I'm not asking you to vote for us, I'm just asking you to get involved and vote for the nominee you like best.
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