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With Aerial Trams, Streetcars, Condos; Murphy Bed Micro Units … Team Bridges Wins $10,000 Net Zero Design Contest

From the winning “Team Bridges,”  Michael Rushman of Cabot-based Land Strategies. Photo by Michael Jermyn
From the winning “Team Bridges,”
Michael Rushman of Cabot-based Land Strategies. Photo by Michael Jermyn

MONTPELIER — Net Zero Vermont Inc. announced the winner of the Montpelier 2030 Design Competition’s $10,000 prize is “Team Bridges” — a collaboration of multiple individuals and companies. The announcement was made at the State House by Deb Sachs and Dan Jones, Net Zero co-chief executive officers Jan. 18.

Also speaking at the news conference were Governor Phil Scott, Mayor John Hollar, Beth Rusnock for competition sponsor National Life Group, and members of Team Bridges.

After noting his fondness for competitions, Scott added: “The Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition creates a vision of the type of small city I believe will help attract and retain working age people to Vermont, offer housing, art and open spaces for people of all ages, and grow our local tax base. This project demonstrates that working together — nonprofits, government and business — can inspire a community to develop a positive vision for its future.”

“Team Bridges” spokesperson Michael Rushman of Land Strategies said “From the outset, our team’s motto has been ‘More people, fewer cars, better lifestyle.’”

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The project’s presentation depicts a magic land where people live in apartments or homes adjacent to their workplace. Nobody needs to drive to work. An example is National life — where stacks of apartments (powered by solar panels on the rooves) house employees who get downtown via aerial tram. This plan, where most parking lots are replaced with housing units, would invite another 3,500 residents and “reduce the average number of vehicles owned by each household so that there is no overall increase in the total number of vehicles in the city.” The drawings further depict people walking down the street carrying canoes, traveling by kayak in the river and street sweeping done by a robot.

The winner was chosen by over 650 voters along with a review by a technical committee. In January, a second round of voting followed presentations by five finalists. The $10,000 prize in the competition is sponsored by Net Zero Vermont with seed funding from five sponsors: AllEarth Renewables, Ben & Jerry’s, Vermont Creamery, National Life Group, and VSECU.

The details about the competition process, the winning design materials and video of the team presentation are available at: https://netzerovt.org/design-competition/winning-design/

About Team Bridges

Team Bridges is a purposeful blend of 12 professionals from 10 companies and organizations: Roger Allbee, former secretary, Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets; Jay Ancel, partner, Black River Design Architects; Vincent Appel, Possible Architectures; Douglas Cooper, professor, Carnegie Mellon University; Stefani Danes, architect and adjunct professor, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University; Archie Kasnet, Altenex; Ethan Lay-Sleeper, Sasaki; Ken Millman, Sp!ke Advertising; Michael Rushman, Land Strategies; Janet Van Fleet, Studio Place Arts and Robert White, Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.

About Net Zero Vermont

Net Zero Vermont, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit aimed at creating a vision for a sustainable future with vibrant, people-centered downtowns and transforming our transportation and energy systems to low carbon alternatives. Sustainable Montpelier 2030 is its first project. For more information visit www.netzerovt.org.

Tom Brown is contributing editor of The Bridge. ..... You can contact him at tom@montpelierbridge.com