Nearly fifty beautiful photos taken in fifteen different countries are the result of an international photo contest with the Metropolitan Solutions theme - the search for solutions that contribute to a sustainable future of the urban environment. The photo contest was organized by Wageningen University & Research. Last Thursday, the managing director of World Press Photo, Lars Boering, handed the prizes to the winners.
The award ceremony of the Metropolitan Solutions Photo Contest took place during the closing night of the Summer School Thinking City on July 16 in Amsterdam. The winners received a check for respectively € 250 and € 100. Lars Boering gave the attendees tips on how to take ‘a photo with a story’.
The jury chose the photo ‘Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm’ by Rosanne Wielemaker from the Netherlands as best picture. With her photo of the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in New York, Rosanne shows the symbiotic relationship between (urban) agriculture and the city. “Urban agriculture contributes to biodiversity and food safety, but also to community building and employment. However, the relationship between urban farming and cities is innately symbiotic. The city in turn offers farms customer proximity, urban microclimates, and reusable ‘waste’ streams (nutrients, water and energy).”
The jury appreciates the way the picture shows how urbanization and a 'green city' can go together and the strong composition of the photo.
The shared second and third places are for the photos "The best things in life are free" by Allan Jay Quesada from the Philippines and 'You are the fuel' by Florencia Rojas from Argentina. With his photograph of Singapore, Allan shows how the growing economy of the city becomes greener by installing solar panels in and around the city. The jury appreciates the beautiful way in which this photo shows a solution in a highly urbanized environment.
Florencia Rojas shows how cycling can be the solution for a sustainable future: “We are all well aware of the health and mental benefits of bike riding, as well as the positive impact on air quality, noise pollution and many more problems the world faces today.”
In the Metropolitan Solutions Photo Contest, Wageningen University & Research has been looking for spectacular photos of metropolitan solutions. The themes of the submitted photos and ideas range from green solutions to waste recycling and from mobility solutions to the use of clean energy sources.
Photo entries have been judged by a professional jury, consisting of Zef Hemel, professor on Urban and Regional Planning (Wibaut Chair) at the University of Amsterdam and co-organizer of Summer School Thinking City, Kadir van Lohuizen, international photojournalist and Arnold Bregt, professor on Geo-Information Science at Wageningen UR and AMS principal investigator.
Urbanization is rapidly spreading across the world: in 2050, more than 70% of the world’s population will live in a city. Quality of life and sustainability issues are therefore becoming very urgent. How should we deal with metropolitan challenges such as climate change, water and waste management, resource and food security, health and wellbeing? Wageningen University & Research works on metropolitan solutions in order to achieve smart cities: cities and metropolitan regions that are liveable, healthy, resilient and cyclical – in close relationship with the surrounding rural areas. This happens for example in the collaborative Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS).
The ten shortlisted photos were exhibited in an open air photo exhibition on Wageningen Campus in the autumn of 2015.