Taubman College Students Recognized in ULI Hines Student Competition

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has announced finalists for their 2023 ULI Hines Student Competition. Students Alexis Farrell, M.U.R.P. ’23, Sai Saran Megha Parimi, M.Arch. ’23, Brooke Bulmash, M.U.R.P. / M.L.A. ’25, Vishnu Santosh Reddy Kusam, M.L.A. ’24, and Shravya Goteti, M.Arch. ’23, have received notable project recognition for their submission, The Fleet.

The ULI Hines Student Competition is hosted annually and offers graduate students the opportunity to form multidisciplinary teams and engage in a challenging exercise in responsible land use. Teams of five students pursuing degrees in at least three disciplines have two weeks to devise a development program for a real, large-scale site in a North American city. Teams provide graphic boards and narratives of their proposals including designs and market-feasible financial data.

The Fleet is a vibrant mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development designed to anchor the North Charleston community. The project focuses on creating spaces that honor the city’s culture and history, support health and the environment, and encourage connection and mobility. With the site’s proximity to the Cooper River, the design and development emphasize resilience, equity, and access while addressing the potential for flooding. The three core pillars of the project are Culture and History, Health and Environment, and Connection and Mobility, which underpin the entire design and ethos of The Fleet.

Parimi shared, “It was an interesting collaboration between the team members for the project where we understood different perspectives of architecture, urban policy, and landscape design. Everyone had a unique perspective to contribute to the project that made it more meaningful and practical for the proposal. The real challenge was to design an urban strategy and the program of the whole site in correlation with performa (of the real estate development) which was really interesting and tricky. It made us understand the reality of the Charleston market and the land use development strategies, etc., and this was our key learning. This competition has given us a glimpse of how the real world works, how collaboration with individuals from different sectors happens, and how we implement the overall project based on everyone’s perspective.”

Kusam said, “Working together on The Fleet project was an insightful learning experience for our diverse team, which included two architects, two planners, and one landscape architect. This mix of expertise allowed us to approach the project from various angles, culminating in a comprehensive, sustainable, and innovative urban development proposal. Our interdisciplinary collaboration contributed significantly to the proposal’s success. Throughout the process, we were mindful of the importance of resilience, equity, and access while respecting the rich culture and history of North Charleston. The ULI Hines Student Competition presented us with a valuable opportunity to apply our academic knowledge to a real-world scenario. It was inspiring to see the creative and thoughtful ideas put forth by our fellow competitors. We are grateful for the recognition and believe that the competition has helped refine our urban design, planning, and development skills.”

The competition is part of the institute’s long-term mission to encourage students to create better communities, improve development patterns, and integrate multidisciplinary solutions to urban design challenges. Longtime ULI leader Gerald D. Hines, founder of the Hines real estate organization, created the competition with a generous endowment after he received the ULI Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development in 2002.