The Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, in collaboration with the cities and the County of the Monterey, California, is sponsoring an international design competition to create work force and attainable housing throughout our region. The competition is open to all architects, urban designers, landscape architects, urban and regional planners, engineers, educators, students and others interested in housing, conservation and development issues. Multi-disciplinary teams, that include specialists in the many areas critical to these issues, are encouraged. Bill Liskamm, FAIA, will serve as the Concepts Executive Director. 


The purpose of this competition is to generate innovative housing models that will enable the public and decisionmakers to: 
Comprehend the potentials of new designs and alternative development patterns to meet attainable housing goals and to use land more efficiently.

Understand how creative housing designs can 'fit' within the fabric of their communities. The competition sponsors intend to demonstrate the results of this competition by providing opportunities to build the winning designs at sites throughout the County. 


Multiple public and private competition sites, from urban in-fill to rural lands, depicting the broad variety of both housing needs and geography found in Monterey County will be part of the Concepts Competition. Extensive resource material highlighting important environmental and natural resource issues and the changing demographics of Monterey County will be available for competition participants on this website. The Concepts Competition website will also convey the great natural beauty of California's Central Coast, and Monterey County in particular. It is the intention of the Concepts Committee that this multi-site competition will provide model solutions for other communities with similar housing needs. 


Concepts Competition - Phase One registration opens August 1, 2002. Phase One competition materials will be available on the official website www.conceptscompetition.org and distributed by mail on August 30, 2002. Phase One submittals are due October 31, 2002. For additional Phase One information, please see the Concepts Schedule. Concepts Competition - Phase Two will begin February, 2002. Concepts Competition - Phase Three will begin February, 2003. 


The current housing crisis in the Monterey Peninsula is reflected in the stagnation of construction of new homes for lower and middle-income residents and the accompanying steep increase in housing costs. This extremely restricted housing market has a homeowner ratio of only 40%, compared to the U.S. average of 62%. Sharp increases in rental housing costs and subsequent overcrowding have driven workforce residents and retirees completely out of the area or created very long commutes from outlying areas, causing negative environmental impacts. Lack of affordable and attainable workforce housing for all income groups, including farm workers, teachers, governmental employees, nurses, doctors and other health professionals have impacted all residents and damaged the economic and social base of Monterey County. 


The three phase Concepts Competition will address both how and where to construct attainable housing and actually realize attainable housing that is so critically needed in Monterey County. This competition will provide opportunities to explore alternative new designs and development patterns for individual towns and cities as well as for larger areas of the County. It will show how these areas can grow responsibly while accommodating new housing types. Products of the competition will include not only design "visions" to guide this future growth, but also the tools and processes necessary to implement these visions. These design models and implementation tools will assist local decision-makers shape policies to guide growth in their respective town, which, in turn can guide the growth of the Monterey County in a manner that will provide work force and attainable housing for all residents. Please see our detailed description of Concepts Competition Phases for additional information.


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International Competitions Network
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