ULI Hines Student Competition

The ULI Hines Student Competition is an urban design and development challenge for graduate students. The competition engages multidisciplinary student teams to devise a comprehensive development program for a real, large-scale site. Teams of five students representing at least three disciplines have two weeks to develop solutions that include drawings, site plans, tables, and market-feasible financial data.

This is an ideas competition; there is no expectation that any of the submitted schemes will be applied to the site. The winning team receives $50,000 and the finalist teams receive $10,000 each. One representative from each finalist team gets an all-expenses-paid site tour in the selected competition city prior to the final  presentation. All participating finalist students attend the all-expenses-paid final presentation in the host city to select the winner of the competition.




Four Finalist Teams Selected for 2017 ULI Hines Student Competition

Teams from Carnegie Mellon University, Université Laval in Quebec, the University of Maryland, and the University of Texas at Austin have been selected as the four finalists for the 15th annual ULI Hines Student Competition. The 2017 competition challenged student teams to design and submit a master-plan proposal that included presentation boards with drawings, site plans, tables, and market-feasible financial data for the North Branch Industrial Corridor, located in Chicago, Illinois.


The Fleet Management facility located on Chicago’s north side. Image: ULI/Nathan Weber

This year’s competition is based on a hypothetical situation related to the actual 2016 announcement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management will be relocating their headquarters from the site near Goose Island. The competition’s challenge for students involves an investment group, known as the Windy Crew Investors (WCI), which has assets in the study area next to North Branch. This investment group is seeking a master developer to create a successful bid for building a mixed-use sustainable area that benefits from adjacent synergies in the vacant property near Goose Island. Playing the role of the potential master developer, student teams must the evaluate the benefits and financial possibilities of buying the Fleet Management and Facility site, and potentially combining it with certain parcels to redevelop or sell as one comprehensive development site.

Download the Competition Brief

Press Release

Catching Up with Hines Alumni

More than 6,800 students have participated in the ULI Hines Student Competition since its first year in 2003. Below, Hines finalists and winners share stories about their competition experience and its impact on their professional lives.

Past Competitors

2017 Competition Schedule

  • October 10, 2016: Teams begin applying to compete.
  • December 5, 2016: Deadline to apply as a team.
  • December 16, 2016: Teams notified of eligibility.
  • January 923, 2017: Competition period.
  • Late February 2017: 4 Finalist teams announced.
  • March 2017: Site visit by a representative from each finalist team.
  • April 2017: Final presentations and winner announced.

For additional information, contact: HinesCompetition@uli.org

2016 Winner and Finalists

A team representing Harvard University took top honors and the $50,000 prize in the 2016 ULI Hines Student Competition with its winning master plan proposal to transform a Midtown Atlanta site into a thriving, sustainable, mixed-use, walkable, and transit-accessible neighborhood. Learn more about the 2016 ULI Hines Student Competition winning team and finalists.

2017 ULI Hines Student Competition Study Site -- Chicago