News alert: Tsinghua University team wins inaugural CIBE and Bentley future cities

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The Center for International Business Ethics (CIBE) in Beijing, the Dynamic City Foundation, and Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading company dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for the infrastructure that sustains our world, today announced that the project designed by the student team from the Architecture Department of Tsinghua University won top honors in the inaugural Future Cities China design competition. The competition was open to all students studying architecture and engineering in institutions of higher education, but all essay submissions had to be in Chinese. The program challenged students to use their design skills, along with Bentley software, to provide a master plan for the sustainable university campus of tomorrow. The goal was to create a campus that could serve as the cornerstone of a modern “green” Chinese city and help address the many challenges associated with complex, inner-city environments. Nearly 200 student teams from more than 70 universities submitted projects to the competition, which an independent panel of distinguished jurors narrowed to eight finalists. The finalists, which represented Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, China Agricultural University, Harvard University, Jianghan University, Tsinghua University, and Xi’an Jiaotong University, competed in a three-day forum held 24-26 August. The winning team receives an all-expense-paid, one-month internship at the U.S. headquarters of Bentley Systems in Exton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

“This was a wonderful competition, and I’m incredibly proud of all of the participants,” Dr. Liu Baocheng, director of CIBE in Beijing, said. “Of course, special recognition is due to the team from Tsinghua for its great work and extraordinarily creative master plan. I am proud to have been a part of this year’s Future Cities China program and eagerly look forward to next year’s competition.”

“The keen interest in this inaugural competition, as well as in the enrichment of China’s city environments facilitated by new and improved infrastructure, is reflected in the large number of high-quality submissions we received,” Dr. Jean-Baptiste Monnier, senior vice president, Bentley Asia-Pacific, said. “I, too, congratulate the student team from Tsinghua University as well as all of the finalists on successfully completing this rigorous exercise and creating such innovative and imaginative projects. Each student who participated in the competition gained valuable knowledge and advanced their design skills, which will serve them well and provide them with a valuable competitive edge as they embark on careers in the infrastructure professions.”

Meng Ning, a member of the winning Tsinghua student team of two, said, “The intensity of the competition and latitude for creativity were unprecedented. We learned a great deal through this fresh and exciting experience, and I am extremely happy about the upcoming trip to Bentley Systems in the U.S. I’m sure the internship will be a great help to my future career, and I am truly thankful for this opportunity.”

Liu Yun, the second member of the Tsinghua team, added, “I am very happy that I was able to take part in such a tremendous experience. We were finally able to apply what we’ve learned to a real-world design challenge. Now I am looking forward to the internship with Bentley.”

The teams consisted of up to three students, plus a professor or infrastructure professional as mentor. Each team submitted a proposed conceptual master plan for the sustainable university campus with the following elements:

  • A logistic concept for the public space of the Future Cities campus, including its connections to the surroundings and a basic understanding of the landscape;
  • A general massing study for the school’s architectural program;
  • An essay that describes the proposal’s core concept, how the campus relates to the surrounding area and infrastructure, and how the proposal is sustainable.

The project site, Shuang Hua Yuan, is an underdeveloped plot in the heart of Beijing. It is disconnected from the city by large arteries, yet accessible by public transportation. The heavy infrastructural lines increase the complexity of the site, dividing it into four plots, typical of post-industrial cities in China. Alternatively, the site offers an open and green area on the edge of the central business district.

The winning university campus design project, titled “School in Between,” cultivated an integrated or holistic approach to urban issues. In this design, the university is no longer the ivory tower. Rather, it assumes the role of intermediary for cultural exchange and provides space and facilities for the environment around it.

Second- and third-place honors went to the teams from Beijing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture and Xi’an Jiaotong University, respectively. Each member of these two teams receives a one-month internship at a Bentley office in China.

About the Center for International Business Ethics

The Center for International Business Ethics is a research and training organization that aims to promote business ethics and corporate responsibility awareness in business, student, academic, and public circles. CIBE engages in a number of projects toward this aim through research, outreach, and student development. CIBE is part of the University of International Business and Economics and was founded by several schools and organizations in 2004. For additional information about CIBE, visit http://www.cibe.org.cn.

About Dynamic City Foundation

The Dynamic City Foundation (DCF) is a research and design institute focused on the rapid transformation of China’s urban landscape. In 2003, the DCF began the Urban China 2020 project, an in-depth study of the effects of China’s flash urbanization and how designers can respond to this process. To achieve this, the DCF established http://www.burb.tv, an online collaboration platform for open-source research and design. The objective of building 400 new cities by the year 2020, as formulated by the former Chinese Minister of Civil Affairs, provides this project with its research framework. For additional information about DCF, visit http://www.dynamiccity.org.

About Bentley Systems, Incorporated

Bentley is the global leader dedicated to providing architects, engineers, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. Founded in 1984, Bentley has nearly 3,000 colleagues in more than 45 countries, $500 million in annual revenues, and, since 1999, has invested more than US$1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions.

For additional information about Bentley, visit www.bentley.com. To view Bentley’s May 2010 Annual Report, visit www.bentley.com/annualreport. To subscribe to an RSS feed of Bentley press releases and news alerts, visit www.bentley.com/rss/news. To view a searchable collection of innovative infrastructure projects from the annual Be Inspired Awards, visit www.bentley.com/yearininfrastructure. For information about Be Communities, a professional networking site that enables members of the infrastructure community to connect, communicate, and learn from each other, visit http://communities.bentley.com.

Bentley, the “B” Bentley logo, and Be are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

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