Streetscape design competition aims to spruce up Cascade Avenue

Colorado Springs is calling on local architects and designers for their street smarts.

The City of Colorado Springs is seeking regional talent to compete in a competition to design streets and surroundinglandscapes. The winner will be paid $1,000.

Dubbed the “Cascade SmartScape Challenge,” the competition is sponsored by Xerox and led by City Councilmember Brandy Williams and Mayor Steve Bach’s Streetscape Solutions Team Leader Dave Munger.

The competition seeks local professionals to help create a streetscape design  for the future that enhances downtown community beauty, ss well as demonstrates environmental and financial sustainability.  The median on Cascade Avenue between Pikes Peak Avenue and Colorado Avenue will be redesigned as a result of this community competition.

“Downtown medians suffered as a result of the economic downturn,” said Williams. “Bluegrass and water-intensive trees may have worked in a thriving economy, but times have changed and we’re looking to design our medians with creative, sustainable concepts to keep our city looking beautiful into the future.”

She thinks there are a lot of talented professionals in this community who can help create a more picturesque street.

Implementation of the winning design will be paid for by Xerox’s community donation of $20,000, a public-private partnership.  City resources, such as mulch and salvaged rocks, are also available for use on this project.

The winning designer will receive $1,000 from Xerox and will be recognized through on-site signage and city publicity. This project is viewed as a pilot project, but city officials hope to grow more public-private partnerships.

“We need partnerships to create a more beautiful city,” Munger said. “It’s going to take all of us to make our streets a source of pride for our community.”

Xerox’s $21,000 donation is  “value added” to  its contract with the City of Colorado Springs to provide print management services for the organization. “Value added” partnerships are something the City’s Contracting Office looks for from companies doing business with the City.

“Xerox partnering with the City of Colorado Springs demonstrates how large corporations can deliver lasting economic and environmental benefits to the community where we live and work,” said Melissa Hart with Xerox.

Entrants in the design competition are not required to be licensed landscape architecture professionals,  but should have significant landscape planning, design, irrigation and maintenance background or have partners who can provide this experience.  To enter the Cascade SmartScape Challenge, visit www.SpringsGov.com/Cascade.  The deadline to enter is March 16.

A winner will be notified April 11 and will be publicly announced during the Earth Day celebration April 20.