Living Cities Design Competition

  • Location | Bend
  • Completed | 2011

In early 2011, Stacey and Rachel participated in a design competition arranged by the International Living Future Institute and sponsored by Bend 2030. A local team consisting of long-range planners, architects, and students was formed. In three short weeks, a vision of what the High Desert could look like if it went ‘Deep Green’ took shape in the form of several before-and-after images, metrics, research, and the focus area, known as a transect.

Seven metric boards called "petals" were included in the competition guidelines including Site, Water, Energy, Materials, Health, Beauty, and Unity. Each "petal" was addressed in detail, through research and calculations, with ways to implement sustainable strategies to create a Living City. The "Deep Green High Desert" team included Stacey Stemach, Rachel Stemach, Steven Ames, Garrett Kroll, and Allison Meyer.

The design visualizes Bend as a Living City and imagines what it could become constrained only by the laws of nature, available technology, and the limits of the imagination. These ideas have the potential to be more than a visionary exercise, but a real and vital contributor to a positive, lasting, deeply sustainable Bend. The scenario is built upon the reality of Bend today – its climate and vegetation, its resources both abundant and scarce, its history, culture, spirit, and aspirations. It recognizes the city’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as its opportunities and constraints. While some of its concepts may seem utopian, they are grounded in reality and technical feasibility.

Of the 81 total submissions from around the world, our team's entry made it into the final juried round of 30 at the 2011 Living Future Conference in Vancouver, BC.