Frequently Asked Questions

We will be updating our Frequently Asked Questions section as questions arise. If you have a specific question that we have not answered or need any clarifications about the Sudbury 2050 Urban Design Ideas Competition, please contact

1. What is the Sudbury 2050 Urban Design Ideas Competition?

The Sudbury 2050 Urban Design Ideas Competition is a McEwen School of Architecture (MSoA) initiated program aimed to generate ideas for the future design of the City of Greater Sudbury’s urban core. It invites creative individuals or teams to respond to the design challenge of creating a regenerative future vision for the urban core of a mid-sized northern Canadian city.

2. What is the challenge for Sudbury 2050 Urban Design Ideas Competition?

For this competition, participants are challenged to bring their ideas for a vision of The City of Greater Sudbury’s Urban Core in 2O5O. It is a unique opportunity to propose ideas for the future for the complete urban core of a mid-sized northern Canadian city.

  • Visions for a city set in the extraordinary natural beauty of Northern Ontario – a city with hundreds of lakes, a winter city with a culture driven by Anglophone, Francophone and Indigenous communities.
  • Visions for an “international” City, with more than 300 companies exporting intellectual capital and mining products around the world.
  • Visions for a vibrant city, open to the world it serves. Visions that sustain the City’s ability to continue to attract new generations of the best and brightest talent, with the built form in the urban core clearly reflecting this aspiration.
  • Visions that reflect the city’s position as northern Ontario’s leading healthcare research, education, and economic engine, with a city core highlighting the creativity and energy necessary to maintain a leadership role.
  • Visions that continue to drive the transformational growth of emerging economic sectors such as mass timber construction and remote, automated, electrified, sustainable mining technologies.
  • Visions that reflect the fact that Sudbury is an international economic and environmental miracle. The City’s economy has recovered from massive mining layoffs and its environment has been transformed with re-greening and regenerating strategies.
  • Visions that reflect and challenge the City’s aspirations to respond to the ongoing challenges of global climate change.

3. Regarding the submission: is it hypothetical ideas as a solution to a problem or a built solution?

It should actually be both! Entrants are being asked to present their ideas for high level design solutions for the urban core, reflecting the major building projects being proposed. At the same time, entrants are challenged to propose the broader context in which the urban core resides – the proximity of Lake Ramsey and its adjacent parks, the connections to greenways and watercourses as well as the relationship to surrounding neighbourhoods.

4. Why should I take part?

This program enables the entrants’ creative work to be viewed by the public in a new light and reflects the capacity for design thinking to permeate all aspects of life.

Those selected as winners will be part of exhibits, presentations, potential publication and a public awareness campaign, beginning with a public workshop in the City of Greater Sudbury in 2020.

5. Who can participate?

Anyone can participate. Submissions by individuals or teams from diverse professional backgrounds are encouraged, This includes, architects, urban planners, engineers, environmentalists, etc. Other team members may include those from the design community and beyond, such as community activists, politicians, subject matter experts or institutional representatives.

6. What do I need to present?

Submissions include four main components:

  • Two to four A2 panels
  • Text – maximum 1,200 words
  • Key panel – representing the concept for the submission
  • A video providing an overview of the submission (maximum 2 minutes).

7. How are winners selected?

Submissions will be evaluated for their ability to capture the public imagination and inspire new ways of thinking about the city’s urban core. The jury will review the submissions for clarity, excellence and quality of presentation, in regard to five main criteria: innovation, inspiration, development strategy, public engagement strategy and holistic approach.

8. Who will be on the Sudbury 2050 jury?

The jury will include a diverse mix of professionals, ranging from practitioners and academics to students, policy-makers and members of the community.

9. When is the deadline?

The deadline for online submissions is August 28, 2020, 6 PM EST.

10. What happens if my submission is chosen?

All submissions will be exhibited publicly in the City of Greater Sudbury and online at The top entrants in the first and second category and the people’s choice entrant will be invited to Sudbury to present their solutions to the community, in a workshop environment.

With the goal of increasing public dialogue, the chosen submissions will form the basis for a broader conversation on the issue promoted by the MSoA, including exhibits, presentations and potential publications.

This may include a print/web publication intended for broad distribution. Opportunities for media interviews, blogs and publications will be assessed, as will targeting specific audiences and engaging in social community issues where the submission ideas are applicable.

11. Does the Ideas Competition submission need to conform to the building locations proposed by the various reports?

No. Entrants are encouraged to question existing proposed locations and strategies and recommend solutions that fit within their integrated vision.

12. Is there a registration fee?

No, there is no registration fee.

13. How is the digital submission to be made?

The digital submission format will be posted on the website.

14. The competition brief includes a map, with a circle showing the centre of the city, but does not demarcate a specific boundary. Is the exact area of an entrant’s submission to be determined by the entrant?

Yes, each entrant is free to define the boundary limits of their submission.

15. The competition website requires that entrants analyse the location of the buildings proposed in reports. Do we get to have the reports or how can we understand where the buildings like the convention center, library and etc. are located? Also, are we provided with any materials such as the drawing plans of the buildings?

The available information regarding the proposed projects, their plans and their proposed locations is included in the Resources for Entrants section of the website.

16. Does the competition require an architectural design for any of the proposed projects?

No, the competition does not require an architectural design for any of the proposed projects. Entrants are expected to address the placement and urban design issues related to one or more of these programs as part of their integrated 2020 Vision. At the same time, entrants are challenged to propose the broader context in which the urban core resides – the proximity to Lake Ramsey and its adjacent parks, the connections to greenways and watercourses, as well as the relationship to surrounding neighbourhoods.

17. Is there a maximum number of registrants per team?

No, there is no maximum number of registrants in one team.

18. Is it acceptable for Student teams to have members who will graduate from college/university in 2020?

Yes, Student teams may include members who will graduate in 2020.

19. What category must a team enter, if some members of the team are professionals or graduate students?

If the team has professionals or members who have graduated prior to 2020, it must enter the Open category.

20. Is it possible for team members to be of different nationalities?

Yes, there is no restriction on the nationalities of team members.

21. Should all members of a team register for a Team Code?

No, only one representative from the team needs to register for a Team Code.

22. *REVISED* Is there a base map, 3D model, CAD file for the city?

Several base drawing files are now posted in the Resources for Entrants section of the website and are available for use by the entrants.

23. *REVISED* Can a professor participate in 2 or more groups or be a part of Student Teams in the Student Category?

A professor can provide input and advise any team in both the Open and Student Category.

A professor can be a team member on any team in the Open Category. A professor cannot be a team member on a team in the Student Category.

24. Is it necessary to send any hardcopies of boards by post for the competition?

No, this is a digital competition and hard copies will not be accepted. The competitors will submit their competition proposals, in digital format, to a site to be identified on the website.

25. Are there going to be any changes to the schedule?

Yes, the schedule has been revised. Please refer to the updated website.

26. How is the Covid 19 pandemic going to impact the Competition?

Everyone’s hope and expectation is that the onslaught of the pandemic can be slowed and ultimately stopped; however, the resultant impact will vary widely from country to country. Regardless of when and the degree to which that happens, there is no question but that our world will be dramatically different than it is today.

So how does this unprecedented situation affect our aspirational “ideas competition”?

At a logistic level, it will change our schedule for submissions, jurying and ultimately the public presentations. Please check the website for updates. If the need for “social distancing” continues, it will change the manner in which the submissions are displayed to the community and it will change how the winners present their solutions. Remote “virtual workshops” may be required. As the situation evolves, the approach to these issues will be posted on the website.

27. Is there any additional information related to the rail lands?

The Resources for Entrants page has been updated with additional information.

28. Is there any additional information related to housing?

The Resources for Entrants page has been updated with additional information.

29. If I make an error with my contact information during registration, can I modify the information?

Since registration is free, it would be most simple to register again with the correct information and abandon the Team Code associated with the incorrect information.

30. How many prizes are in each category, and how will the payments be made?

There is only one prize in each category, and payment details will be communicated directly to each winner.

31. Do participants need any personal documents to prove he or she is a student?

Yes, all participants in the Student Category will need to provide documentation confirming student status at the time of submission. Details regarding documentation will follow once submissions open.

32. How important will the video component be, in the selection of winners?

The video is considered critical to explaining the central ideas of a submission. The video will have a significant weight attached to it in the jurying of the submission. It may be a 2-minute highlight of the key elements of the submission or may allow each competitor to better explain the project. The video allows the competitors to make explicit, issues that may be more subtly portrayed in the panels or even in the text. It is a requirement, equal to the panels, the text and to the summary poster. All four will have a role in the jury process. It should be noted that submissions that do not include all requirements will be considered incomplete and will be rejected.

33. Is it necessary to provide reference/credit for material, taken from the Resources for Entrants section of the Competition website?

Documents that are on the website are for the use of entrants and do not need to be exhaustively referenced, unless direct quotes are used in the submission.

Any material, directly quoted at length in the submission, should have a proper citation included, either in brackets, in the text (i.e. Sudbury Master Plan, p.12) or as a footnote on any of the panels.

34. Are there any planned deadline extensions as a result of COVID-19?

No, there are no plans for extending the Submission deadline.

35. For the Text portion on Panel A that summarizes and explains the project, does it need to be one main body paragraph, or may we break the information up accordingly? Is it also up to the team’s discretion to present the project information throughout all the Panels, rather than requiring a text heavy first panel?

The Text that is being requested to summarize and explain the project will need to be available in one section, for inclusion with the all or some of the graphics, in any future presentation, publication, etc.

36.In terms of the “strategy for public engagement”, is this something that’s included in the panel or should it be presented as a separate document?

The “strategy for engaging the community in the design process” should be presented in the Text or on a portion of the panel.

37. Is the public engagement strategy for the intention of providing the methods of public engagement we plan to use or is the intention of the approach to get input from the public for the design vision itself?

The “strategy for engaging the community in the design process” is your idea/strategy for involving the City of Greater Sudbury community in the realization of your design, after the Submission.

38. With regard to the A2 panels, are they to be in portrait or landscape orientation?

Either orientation of the panels is acceptable.

39. Regarding the 2D/3D .dwg files, posted in the Resources for Entrants section, Base Drawings – City of Greater Sudbury Urban Core, why is there a black underlay, which appears to be the topographic layer for the downtown but is restricted to a smaller area?

The black layer is a tight mesh topographic model that was created in Rhino, and, yes it is smaller than the overall map, as this was all the topographic information available. The file was largely created and edited in Rhino.

A .kmz file, which has been exported from the Rhino file, has been added to the Resources for Entrants section Base Drawings – City of Greater Sudbury Urban Core.

Submission Deadline—December 9th, 2020