National Urban Design Awards — 2020 Recipient

The Drainage Filter for the Everglades
Award Category: 
National Urban Design Awards
Student Projects

Leads: Qiwei Song, Meikang Li and Chaoyi Cui (University of Toronto)
Completion Date: December 2017

To tackle the water pollution issue in the Everglades, this proposal is a cost-efficient alternative, and improvement, to existing expensive treatment infrastructures. The treatment areas are planned on current and future available land. The transformation starts from public open space to construct the fundamental infrastructure—which also serves as an education function to the private stakeholders who are expected to further incrementally improve the system. The equestrian activities and the original drainage system function are well maintained. It creates a sustainable framework that benefits water quality, enhances the living experience, and preserves equestrian lifestyle—with an aesthetic, dynamic, cultural and functional landscape.

Jury Comment(s): 

"As a design concept, it integrates land development, infrastructure, drainage, and ecology at a regional scale. The concept was backed by considerable research, analysis, and was beautifully presented and illustrated. Imagine the surprise of the Jury when it was realized this was the same student who prepared the above submission!"

"Quite comprehensive in its integration of innovative bio-filtration strategies at a broad and complementary range of spatial scales. The representation of experiential and visual qualities—of what is primarily an eco-infrastructural proposal—is commendable."

Jury members

Click for full version: 
This drawing gives an overview of the drainage filter landscape for Basin S-8.


Official Land Use map for the Southwest Ranches.

PHOTO: Town of Southwest Ranches Comprehensive Plan, 2013.

View of Phase 1 Residential


Residential Section


View of Wetland Residential


Phase2  Pretreatment Strategies