Published: Dec. 6, 2019

Miraflores projectWinners have been announced for the Urban Solutions Design Award, sponsored by the American Planning Association (APA) and CU Boulder's Community Engagement, Design and Research Center (CEDaR).

First place went to Miraflores De La Abuelas, created by Ian Klene and Sebastian Elverskog. Second place went to Centennial Village: Designing with Stormwater, by Alec Stolz. Clare Hamilton received third place for her project, eco h2o. All winners are students in CU Boulder's Program in Environmental Design (ENVD).

The contest was held in conjunction with CEDaR's  annual Community Building Colorado-Style conference, “Squeezed Out."  For the contest, 14 ENVD undergraduates submitted urban planning, design, policy and technology projects from their studio classes.  Projects were juried by professional planners and designers selected by APA. Selected participants presented their posters to professionals in the field at a networking reception in the lobby of the ENVD building on Oct. 24.

Michelle Stephens, AICP APA Colorado chapter president, and Constantine Chrisafis, CEDaR student employee, helped organize the competition. Judges included Dave Kimmett, AICP, project planner for juwi Inc.; Audem Gonzales, senior planner for the Town of Erie; and Ryan Kacirek, land use planner for Boulder County. 




Project SummariesIan Klene

First Place: Ian Klene and Sebastian Elverskog

Miraflores De La Abuelas:  In the summer of 2019, the University of Colorado Boulder and the Universidad Nacional Medllin completed an informal settlement research and development project in the Carponelo 2 neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia. The six-week project, instructed by Jota Samper, assistant professor for CU Boulder's Program in Environmental Design (ENVD), was focused on solving infrastructure needs in the underserviced community high in the mountains above the city.

Ian Klene
Ian Klene is an ENVD senior majoring in urban planning. He is from Arvada, Colorado and after graduation he plans to move to San Francisco to begin his career. "This project was an incredible opportunity for myself and for all of my classmates who went to Colombia, and I am incredibly grateful for the impact that we were able to make," Ian says.

Sebastian ElverskogSebastian Elverskog
Sebastian Elverskog is an ENVD senior, with an emphasis in architecture. He loves traveling and working in unique situations. He has studied abroad in Colombia, interned in Tangier, Morocco and studied environmental engineering for a summer in Rwanda. He hopes to continue using design as a tool that can solve environmental issues in underserved areas. 



Alec StolzSecond place: Alec Stolz 

Centennial Village: Designing with StormwaterCentennial Village’s Stormwater Park is situated at the most northern end of a pre-planned community at  Centennial Airport in Centennial, Colorado. The park is designed as a place for community residents to come and relax and recreate in an engaging environment while also treating stormwater from the surrounding blocks with biological methods rather than industrial ones. The park utilizes varying topography, a wide range of remedial plant species, and pumps and streams to help clean and oxygenate the stormwater coming from the community. The resulting landscape from these methods is not only one that acts as a corridor for human movement, gathering and community, but also as one that seeks to nurture ecological systems that thrive in this area but have recently been restricted due human expansion and industrialization.

Alec Stolz (photo above)
Alec is an ENVD senior studying landscape architecture. Originally from Denver, he spent one semester at the University of Melbourne in Australia and spent one summer in Medellin, Colombia with Jota Samper, ENVD assistant professor, and other students working with an informal settlement. He is currently writing a senior honors thesis which analyzes the interior features of post-industrial landscape architecture projects that influence gentrification. 


Third Place: Clare HamiltonClare Hamilton

eco h2o: Eco h2o is a green infrastructure solution designed to efficiently and effectively manage stormwater in Colorado's arid Front Range. The modular system is inspired by the keyhole planting bed, an efficient circular raised-bed design with a pervious core of compost at the center. The bed, which originated in Sub-Saharan Africa, is watered at the center, distributing both water and nutrients from the compost core to the root zone of plants. The same water-saving, space-saving and nutrient recycling principles behind the keyhole bed drove the design of eco h2o. The wedge- shaped planter beds can be arranged in numerous configurations around water collection and distribution hubs and worm composting hubs to create modular landscapes designed to manage and conserve water, recycle and conserve resources and nutrients.

Clare Hamilton
Clare is a fourth-year ENVD student from Colorado Springs. Her interest in environmental design comes from growing up on a sustainable farm and hours spent in her dad's wood and metal shop. After college she hopes to have a career related to woodworking and to eventually start her own residential design/build firm.