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Landscape Architecture students honored for futuristic visions

February 24, 2014

Two teams from the UT Arlington School of Architecture's Landscape Architecture program have been recognized with two Special Jury Prizes at the 2014 Better Philadelphia Challenge (The Ed Bacon Student Design Competition) on How Will Driverless Cars Shape the Philadelphia of Tomorrow? Student teams were asked to describe a future in which methods of ground transportation such as cars, buses and taxis could drive themselves around the city, communicating with each other and with the citizens who would use them.

The competition was organized by the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. Out of 140 teams from eighty schools and thirty-five countries that registered for the competition, fifteen student teams competed in the Challenge, with five teams ultimately earning recognition.

The two teams from UT Arlington consisted of landscape architecture graduate students Dylan Stewart and Susan Justus, who were awarded Most Visionary for their entry "ECOtonomy", and Xitong Li and Karen Teague, honored for Design of User Experience for "Zero Gap Commute". They completed their entries in the competition as a part of the LARC 5665 Design Studio (Urban Design and Urban Landscape), taught by Dr. Taner Ozdil and assisted by Sameepa Modi.

"The competition not only gives our students a unique opportunity to tackle complex urban design issues in a geography that they are not familiar with," says Professor Ozdil, "but also illustrates that they are ready to respond to the changing needs of future metropolitan areas with their visionary ideas across the United States."

Team members traveled to Philadelphia on February 18, where student winners were honored at the Awards Ceremony and Reception. The ceremony also featured a presentation by Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, as he received the 2014 Edmund N. Bacon Prize for his lifetime of success in promoting smart investment in transportation infrastructure.


(L to r) Karen Teague and Xitong Li ("Zero Gap Commute"), Dylan Stewart and Susan Justus ("ECOtonomy")


zero gap

Zero Gap Commute (Karen Teague, Xitong Li)



ECOtonomy (Dylan Stewart, Susan Justus)