NETWORK RESET: Emerald Constellation
Winner - First place, MAS Context: Network Reset: Re-thinking Chicago's Emerald Necklace Competition, 2011

Fadi Masoud, Conor O'Shea, and Kees Lokman


This proposal was for a long term strategy that uses landscape as a framework for directing multiple functions and needs such as ecology, recreation, infrastructure, and development. It reconceived the city as a network of overlapping and intersecting cultural, economic, and ecological networks. This flexible and open-ended system is a 21st Century version of the Emerald Necklace that accommodates immediate human and ecological programs of Chicago and anticipates unforeseen events. It is associated with a 21st Century American economy, not a 19th Century one. More specifically, it is achieved by reconditioning abandoned swathes of industrial property and their associated connective infrastructure such as rails and canals for new uses. Underlying the proposal is the understanding that open space, urban land uses, and ecological integrity is constantly fluctuating and is best understood as a system of gradients, and not a single use linear space. We call it the Chicago Constellation: A New Framework for Conducting the Forces of Urbanization in 21st Century America.