Michael and Kevin Bacon Announce 2016 Better Philadelphia Competition

You could win $5,000 for reshaping Philadelphia with your ideas. For the first time, professionals and recent grads can compete, too.

Calling all college students, recent grads and even professionals: You could win $5,000 from Michael and Kevin Bacon, who started the Better Philadelphia Challenge in 2006 in memory of their father, Ed Bacon (who passed away in 2005), Philadelphia’s nationally renowned 20th century city planner.

The design challenge this year focuses on designing healthy neighborhoods in the Mantua/Belmont section, designated a “promise zone” for economic development — one of only five in the U.S. — by President Obama, and challenges college students, and now professionals, to come up with a design project in that area that emphasizes physical activity and healthy living, according to the official competition page

The competition page also says that the most successful teams will be comprised of students in different majors or professionals in various fields – architecture, urban planning, and political science are among those majors/fields the foundation says are especially useful.

Free registration is due October 1st. Project submissions are due that same date, and incur a $25 fee for students and a $50 fee for professionals per submission. (Anyone can register to receive updates about the competition.)

Better Philadelphia Challenge says that the inclusion of professionals is in celebration of the competition’s 10th anniversary, and professional entries will be judged separately from student entries, with two separate $5,000 grand prizes.

Past first-place winners include (school and no. of entrants, winning submission, challenge theme):

2015: Cornell University (team of 5), FOODWORX, Petty Island

2014: Cornell (different team of 5), IndePENNdence 2076, Driverless Vehicles

2013: Cornell (another different team of 5), SHIFT, Intersect: When Transportation Corridors and Cities Collide, Part 2 (I-76/Amtrak/30th Street Station)

2011/2012: University of Toronto (team of 2), Float Your Boat, Intersect: When Transportation Corridors and Cities Collide, Part 1 (I-95/CSX/Delaware River Waterfront)

For the full list, go here.

Design, enter, and go reshape our city, young people!

Also, watch this video by the Bacon brothers:

Follow @MaxGRettig on Twitter.

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