Shore to Core Design and Research Competition

Submission: August 21, 2016
Registration: August 21, 2016
Language: English
Location: West Palm Beach, USA
Prizes:  x2 1st Prize: $45,000 to develop winning projects
Type: Open


Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency are launching Shore to Core, a design competition and a research competition that uses West Palm Beach as a model to reimagine our waterfront cities and better understand individuals’ relationships to the built environment.

The design competition seeks two multidisciplinary design teams to envision the future of waterfront cities. The winning design team will work with West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency to develop the first phase of their proposal in West Palm Beach.  The research competition seeks a research team to identify ways that the urban environment affects our minds and bodies. The winning research proposal will be developed into a pilot research study in West Palm Beach.

Shore to Core asks: How can we recreate an urban core so its design is intelligent, flexible, and responsive to the needs of residents and visitors? Many aspects of our lives are shaped by the environments in which we spend our time, and by developing a better understanding of these relationships, we can use design to improve wellbeing in cities.

West Palm Beach is a young city that is growing quickly. Many associate this region with a large retirement community, but there is also a growing population of people in their 20s and 30s, as well as large Black and Hispanic populations. The city’s downtown and 10-mile waterfront present an opportunity to develop new amenities that reflect the city’s emerging populations, and design is a crucial tool for tackling these evolving needs. As the city changes, we want to create a framework for future development and a means to measure how these physical transformations are affecting the wellbeing of West Palm Beach’s residents and visitors.


Shore to Core will select two teams to reimagine how we grow and connect our downtowns and waterfronts using West Palm Beach as a model. The competition looks for forward-looking and innovative ideas that are vibrant and adaptive to changing demographics and economies, changes in sea level, and that can facilitate improved civic wellbeing.

Proposals should offer a flexible master-plan framework that can change over time. The competition asks: How can we reimagine our downtowns to make them more engaging and vibrant? How can cities collect information that informs future adaptation and growth? How can we facilitate social interaction among diverse groups? How can the built environment improve residents’ physical health, mental health, and social capital? Proposals should test new models to support the questions above. Finalist teams will work with partners to further develop these ideas. A winner will be selected to implement the first piece of this project, which will include the redesign of an underutilized garage that should act as a social condenser and an icon for the quickly evolving city.


All competition submission text must be in English. In submitting an entry, entrants warrant that the material is their original work, does not infringe upon copyright law, and that they have permission to publish the material. Individuals may participate in only one team submission.

All entries must be submitted to the competition website by 11:59p.m. EDT on August 18, 2016. Late entries will be considered ineligible. There is no entry fee.


August 21, 2016 Submission deadline

September 2016 Team informed

October 2016 Competition Launch Event

November 2016 Mid-review

January 2017 Conduct Research Pilot (research team only)

February 2017 Final Deliverables and Exhibition

March 2017 Final Presentation

March 2017 Exhibition


Design team finalists will receive $45,000 stipends and the Research team winner will receive a $40,000 stipend. Stipends will be made in three installments: 1) upon attendance of launch event 2) upon completion of mid review 3) upon submission of final deliverables.

Go to the competition’s website