UNM School of Architecture and Planning student honored with top prize from international competition

January 10, 2018

Sam Fantaye, Smart Weave

Sam Fantaye, third-year graduate student in Landscape Architecture has won first prize in the Better Philadelphia Challenge, an international design competition with student participants from universities around the world. The project was carried out in the Landscape Architecture competition studio under Assistant Professor Kathleen Kambic.


This annual competition looks at pressing urban design issues in Philadelphia that resonate in cities around the world. On the 100th anniversary of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the competition posed the question of what a new ‘park+way’ could be in a dense 21st century city. 


Sam’s entry, entitled Smart Weave, proposed revitalizing the Lehigh corridor by linking technological, natural and cultural resources through the city’s urban neighborhoods to accommodate more pedestrians and alternative uses.


From the boards: “Engaging Lehigh corridor’s rich history, culture, art and open spaces to mark smart trails, technologically augmented green pathways connect multiple neighborhoods. User defined trails linking neighborhoods along the corridor are the foundation for the influx of art, technology, and green infrastructure. Green streets improve shade and microclimate, and further extend wildlife habitat which results in a healthy and thriving environment.”


An awards ceremony will be held in February in Philadelphia where Sam will receive the $5,000.00 grand prize. Since 2006, this challenge has been organized by the Ed Bacon Memorial Committee of the Center for Architecture and Design.


A link to the boards can be found here: https://www.philadelphiacfa.org/2018-philadelphias-next-parkway