A UNM School of Architecture and Planning (SA&P) is bringing international recognition to the school.

Sam Fantaye, third-year graduate student in Landscape Architecture, won first prize in the Better Philadelphia Challenge. It’s an international design competition with student participants from universities around the world. An awards ceremony will be held in Feb. in Philadelphia, where Fantaye will receive the $5,000 grand prize.

The challenge was first organized by the Ed Bacon Memorial Committee of the Center for Architecture and Design in 2006. The annual competition looks at how to handle pressing urban design issues in Philadelphia, which also resonate in cities around the world. On the 100th anniversary of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the competition posed the question of what a new ‘park+way’ could be in a dense 21st century city.

Fantaye’s entry, titled “Smart Weave,” proposed revitalizing the corridor by linking technological, natural and cultural resources through the city’s urban neighborhoods to accommodate more pedestrians and alternative uses. The project was carried out in the Landscape Architecture competition studio under Assistant Professor Kathleen Kambic.

The project is described as “engaging Lehigh corridor’s rich history, culture, art and open spaces to mark smart trails, technologically augmented green pathways connect multiple neighborhoods. User defined trails linking neighborhoods along the corridor are the foundation for the influx of art, technology, and green infrastructure. Green streets improve shade and microclimate, and further extend wildlife habitat which results in a healthy and thriving environment.”

For more information, and to view details of Fantay’s project, click here