Elsewhere at Sitra What's Cooking

It's always a little sad to come across a blog that has gone fallow. Sorry, world, but we hope to do a better job of posting regularly in the future.

In truth, it's hard for me to accept that it was five months ago that I was in Los Angeles giving the first sneak peak into what HDL 2010 will be. In the intervening months Marco and I have been spending a lot of time hashing out both the ambitions for HDL and seeking a reasonable way to see it through. Part of this process has been looking for examples of projects that are demonstrating the efficacy of strategic design tackling complex problems. Have any favorites? Leave us a comment below if you do!

While we've been quietly developing HDL, Sitra has been more visibly at work organizing Low2No: A Sustainable Development Competition centered around an urban block and HQ building in Jätkäsaari. With the centralization of Helsinki's ports to single new site, six separate logistical areas are being vacated. The competition site, Jätkäsaari, offers about a square kilometer of new land adjacent to central Helsinki for development. In other words, it's a fantastic opportunity that cities as established as Helsinki rarely find. But with this opportunity comes a challenge: to use existing models of development will ensure that our current out-of-balance lifestyle continues--massive resource consumption and carbon output. Can the design of one block be used as a catalyst to design and demonstrate new approaches to development that are not only sustainable but restorative and replicable?

From a competitive pool of 74 replies to our Request For Qualifications five teams were selected to develop proposals:

By now the teams have completed their proposals and the winner will be announced on September 1st. If you live in Finland or happen to be in Helsinki on the first, please join us for the announcement cocktail hour and a chance to chat with the teams. You can find the practical details of the event here.