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Close the Gap – Create Urban Design Solutions for Manhattan

Close the Gap, an international design competition, invites architects, landscape architects, urban designers, engineers, and students worldwide to broaden the dialogue of alternative solutions for sustainable urban living.

The competition focuses on the Midtown sector of New York City’s East River Greenway – a critical missing link in Manhattan’s alternative transportation infrastructure.

Close the Gap requests urban design solutions that complete the missing link between East 38th and East 60th streets, integrating alternative means of transportation including walking, jogging, biking, etc., as well as leisure and recreation space.


Entrants are asked to critically examine the relationship of pedestrians and cyclists to public space, opportunities for merging the city with nature, as well as re-engagement of the individual with social environments in a Midtown Manhattan context. The competition invites a full spectrum of proposals that creatively intermingle current and emerging forms of transport.

Close the Gap calls for proposals that fundamentally transform how people move through Manhattan. The competition offers a platform for exploring emerging ethics and aesthetics in urban design, as well trans-disciplinary underpinnings that link ecology with architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and urbanism. Close the Gap welcomes submissions that propose diverse, multi-layered, and nuanced understandings reconnecting people with cities, waterfronts, and alternative transportation systems. Entrants are encouraged to craft the fullest possible definition of alternative transportation that offers the potential to flexibly adapt and grow over time.

Close the Gap proposals must provide for both passive and active uses that answer the following fundamental concerns:

  • Visual and acoustic separation between the FDR and the greenway
  • Access and entry portals that are integrated into the existing urban fabric
  • Creative solutions that circumvent contentious territories where ownership is unclear and right-of-way is unavailable
  • Reuse of the existing 60th Street Pavilion

Criteria for judging Close the Gap submissions will include depth of research, innovation in alternative transportation design, effectiveness of the design relative to its surrounding context, and originality in approach to sustainable activities including accommodation of various human activities.

Please visit the official website for more specific details and site documentation.


Top concepts, designs, and images will be selected as finalists by a diverse jury of distinguished academics and professionals.

  • First Prize: $3000 cash prize
  • Second Prize: $2000 cash prize
  • Third Prize: $1000 cash prize
  • Special Mention Categories

Winning and top projects will be publicized in a broad media campaign in Fall 2011. An exhibition of competition winners will be shown at the Center for Architecture in NYC, Center Gallery at Fordham University, as well as other venues. A permanent gallery of all projects submitted to the competition will be published on-line. A print publication of winning and top design proposals is anticipated.


  • Individual or group entries are accepted. No limit on the number of participants per team.
  • Each individual confirms that he/she has the legal right to submit the project as a competition entry.
  • Entrants ensure that permissions associated with submission to the Close the Gap have been obtained from the architect of record, designer, and owner.
  • Transportation Alternatives and d3 bear no responsibility for verification of entry submission authority.
  • All entries are accepted with the explicit free right of publication, reproduction, and promotional use by Transportation Alternatives, d3, and sponsors without need for further approvals.

How to enter?

To enter, submit your proposals online to: d3competitions [at] (please replace [at] with @). No hard-copy submissions are required.

The submission must contain the following electronic files:

  1. Two Presentation Boards in PDF Format
  2. Contact Information as PDF (.pdf) 1 pageProvide name(s) of Project Team Member(s), e-mail contact information, telephone number, country of origin or residency for all team participants.
  3. Statement of Design Intent as PDF (.pdf) 1 page

Entry fee

  • $50 USD entry fee per submission