Learning from Sudbury: Reading the Sudbury 2050 Urban Design Ideas Competition
The Sudbury2050 Urban Design Ideas Competition was launched on 25 February of 2020 and winners were announced in December 2020. As an international competition on rethinking Canadian cities the size of Sudbury (160,000), entrants responded to the initial design brief: This competition challenges entrants to create a new vision for the urban core of the City of Greater Sudbury. A 2050 vision that is far-reaching and one that will serve the city well in a rapidly changing global environment. Interdisciplinary teams researched Sudbury’s mining and CPR histories, passionately explored regreening the downtown, rethinking transit, re-stitching disparate urban elements and rewilding the city’s core, positing new hybrids following the principles of ecological urbanism – including indigenous perspectives. 100 teams responded to the competition, from more than 20 countries, and 13 finalists publicly presented mid-term sustainable visions of architecture and ecology over the next 30 years and beyond.
Our paper will distill and present several significant design strategies presented in the competition. Major ideas pertain to global cities of similar scales. Some of the design ideas presented (i.e. live-work from home; living in Sudbury for its quality of life but working in Ottawa or Toronto) have been accelerated due to the pandemic, and have increased their feasibility tenfold. Our paper will focus on original concepts regarding rewilding, rethinking civic infrastructure and reimagining smaller cities that will become sustainable and increasingly viable as larger Canadian cities continue to economically alienate the majority.