Over the course of the summer, six PennDesign students developed two alternate proposals as submittals for the Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition, an event organized by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the World Future Foundation. The competition asked design students from 10 select universities around the world to speculate on future configurations of urban form at a density of no less than 100,000 people per square kilometer. The prompt called for a new city district on the site of the former Paya Lebar Air Base located in Singapore where the thematic concept "Everyone Contributes" would be answered through the students' schemes.
Team A from PennDesign (Joseph Rosenberg, Daniel Lau, and Lindsay L Rule) presented THE THIRD RESERVE, a project that transforms the underutilized, undeveloped land in Northeast Singapore into a new reserve where parcels are intensely programmed toward industrial scale food production. The scheme creates a variety of urban districts organized linearly along an infrastructural band which bundles public transportation systems and industrial distribution networks together, forming a spatial filter between the urban fabric and the productive landscape core. The landscape itself provides a supplementary food resource for Singapore's growing population by mixing traditional horticultural methods with alternative, high yield techniques such as vertical, subterranean, and aquaculture farms. This allows for optimized output during the year and opens up land for public recreational use. The Third Reserve provides new urban conditions which promote intensified land use strategies that help frame public corridors, water management systems, and transportation nodes.
On July 7, 2015, the six students presented their scheme to an international jury of design experts at the National University of Singapore. On July 9, Team A from PennDesign was announced as the 1st Prize Winner for Vertical Cities Asia 2015. Teammates Joseph Rosenberg, Daniel Lau, and Lindsay L Rule were then invited to present their scheme to the guest of honor, Singapore's Minister of State for National Development, Dr. Mohamad Maliki, who shared their enthusiasm for innovative farming technology and productive landscapes within Singapore.