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Harvard Team Wins Midtown Design Challenge

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ULI Hines Competition winner proposes major mixed-use development in south Midtown

Last year, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) issued a challenge to teams from around the world to redesign the southern end of Midtown along The Connector as part of the Hines Competition. In a heartbeat, the big ideas got interesting.

Earlier this year, four teams were announced as finalists, including a group from Georgia Tech, one from the University of Miami, and two teams from Harvard University.

The winner, announced last week at an awards ceremony in Atlanta, was one of the teams from Harvard. Their proposal, titled "The Midtown Beat," included a phased intervention which would bring a range of uses — offices, retail, a hotel, apartments, condos, and loads of public outdoor space — between Linden Avenue and 5th Street.

Furthermore, per the victors:

The Midtown Beat draws from Atlanta’s rich cultural and economic history to ensure its continued place as the primary hub of the American Southeast. The plan weaves together a strategy for the redevelopment of the Midtown neighborhood that capitalizes on some of the district’s most defining "beats:" innovation, culture, and health.

Among the unique elements in the proposal is another pedestrian bridge linking Technology Square to Georgia Tech, across The Connector. Additionally, a Maker Square was conceptualized as a public plaza to encourage visitors to learn more about innovative activities going on at Georgia Tech.

While the proposal is only a vision and not actually intended to be instituted, it offers a glimpse at what Atlantans could hope for as the neighborhood between Midtown and Downtown begins to fill in.