A team from MIT and Harvard University, including past and current Sasaki designers, has taken top honors in the 2019 ULI Hines Student Competition, an ideas competition that provides graduate students the opportunity to devise a comprehensive design and development scheme for a large-scale site in an urban area. Their winning proposal—“The CincyStitch”—aims to redevelop a Cincinnati district between downtown and the riverfront in order to create a more connected, vibrant, and sustainable mixed-use neighborhood.
The team’s narrative overview for the project sheds light on their goals: “The CincyStitch repositions a pivotal stretch of Cincinnati’s waterfront not as the city’s edge, but as the center of a connected region. Through four threads—Culture + History, Public Realm, Transportation, And New Economies—the proposal strategically expands the site and creates connections to break down barriers across geography and time. Together these four threads weave an urban tapestry rich in history but geared to the future; a 24-hour neighborhood bustling with city dwellers, and a center for new commerce that connects citizens across the region socially and physically.”
The Cincy Stitch Team:
Joshua Brooks (Team Leader, Sasaki)
Matthew Macchietto (Sasaki Alumnus)
Zhicheng Xu (Sasaki Alumnus)
Dennis Pieprz (Advisor, Sasaki Chair of Design)
Eran Ben-Joseph (Advisor)
“All of us in our approach to urban design, planning, finance, architecture, and landscape architecture really think of cities as human habitat,” Brooks said of their team dynamics. “City building is something we consider as a calling, not just a profession. As we embarked on this assignment, we wanted to take a position on what we think cities should be, and our proposal does that.”
The CincyStitch team was one of four finalists for the competition. The four teams that advanced to the final round were chosen from 90 teams representing more than 40 universities in the United States and Canada. An incredible honor and great company to be in. Congratulations to the team, and to all who were recognized.
Representatives of the ULI Hines Student Competition winning proposal “The CincyStitch” left to right: Matthew Macchietto (Harvard), Zhicheng Xu (MIT), Shiqi Peng (MIT), Alan Sage (MIT), and Joshua Brooks (MIT), and Alex Rose, Jury Chair and senior vice president of development at Continental Development Corporation at the competition finals at the Westin Cincinnati in April.