City of Charlottesville

has issued a request for proposals seeking an organization to manage a

design competition for the Water Street parking lots


Download RFP

].  All proposals are due by 2:00 PM tomorrow.  Entries for the competition will be due at a later date after the City engages a manager for the competition.

The metered lot, home to the

City Market

, is owned by the City of Charlottesville.  The other parking lot in front of the Live Arts building is owned by Charlottesville Parking Corporation which has been

trying to sell the property

for some time.  This area was the inspiration for a

letter sent by sixteen community members

to Mayor Brown in July 2006.  This design competition is a response to our call for the City to begin an “open discussion and launch a proactive process for rendering a shared vision for this critical tract and its surroundings…”

The material below is excerpted from the RFP.

Brian Wheeler

The successful proposal will manage an ‘open ideas’ competition for the Water Street Parking Lots.  An ‘open ideas’ competition is defined as follows:

An open ideas competition invites architectural and urban design teams locally or nationally to submit creative ideas for the development of a site.  The competition can be national or local and the cost is closely tied to that decision.  The program requirements are crafted and vetted by a group of local stakeholders and the winners are selected through a facilitated jury process.  The composition of the jury generally reflects diverse perspectives including architects, landscape architects, green building experts, urban designers, developers, transportation professionals, City officials, and citizens.  The winner of the competition generally receives a cash prize.

An open ideas competition generates excitement and publicity for a project while bringing the highest degree of creativity to the process.  Some proposals stretch the boundaries, but aim to provoke thought and provide a vast array of alternatives.  A good example of an open ideas competition is the Urban Habitats Design Competition for the Sunrise Trailer Park, organized jointly by the Charlottesville Community Design Center and Habitat for Humanity (see


The considerations guiding this process are as follows:


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