Pan-European competition across 23 countries: DIFA-AWARD 2004 to recognise vibrant urban developments

First international competition focusing on urban quarters for towns and cities with 100,000 inhabitants or more / Deadline for entries 31 December 2003

Is the „urban quarter“ a typically European response to the need to modernise, enhance and regenerate run-down, depopulated urban districts? It would certainly appear so: from Helsinki to Berlin and Madrid, town planners in medium-sized towns and major cities are increasingly focusing on the integrative effect of the quarter, making this type of project a symbol of sustainable urban development. The DIFA-AWARD 2004 is the first town planning competition to recognise the importance of the quarter to European urban development. Having been held twice before in Germany only, the DIFA-AWARD will now explore the economic and social potential of quarter development in 23 European countries. Towns across Europe with 100,000 inhabitants or more have until 31 December 2003 to submit successfully realised projects for consideration. The total amount of prize money for the coveted award is 30,000 euros.

The DIFA-AWARD 2004 aims to find projects that boost the vitality of built inner-city quarters, and prizes will be awarded accordingly. The evaluation process will pay particular attention to whether a tangible increase in vitality has been achieved by creating publicly accessible places such as squares, parks and arcades, and through effective quarter management. The latter is understood to include involving both the visiting public and local residents. Entries will undergo a two-stage selection process at the hands of an interdisciplinary jury of experts including architects Professor Albert Speer and Helmut Jahn, as well as Peter Rees, City Planning Officer for the Corporation of London. The awards ceremony will take place in October 2004 at EXPO REAL, Munich’s commercial property show. The DIFA-AWARD is held on a bi-annual basis by Hamburg-based DIFA Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG.

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