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Urban Omnibus Writing Competition 2014: Common Shares


Monday, May 12, 2014



The jury will select one first-prize essay, whose author will receive an award of $500. Up to two second place winners will receive prizes of $250 each. Winning submissions will be published on Urban Omnibus and in a booklet printed by McNally Jackson Books. The booklet will be featured in the Architecture section of McNally Jackson this summer, and winners will be invited to read their submissions at an event at the bookstore in July.


We are pleased to announce the third annual Urban Omnibus writing competition, this year on the topic of common ownership, private property, and the sharing economy. We seek to advance our dedication to redefining the culture of citymaking by questioning how we talk about what is public, private, and shared in the urban realm.

With this writing competition, Urban Omnibus invites writers to infuse the discourse around structural economic change with narrative, theory, history, or humor. For example, recount how a spare air mattress helps you pay your rent, admit a concern that your job might one day become literally immaterial, or relate an amusing encounter with a stranger in a shared space, like an elevator, lobby, park, café, or street corner. The financialization of the built environment — through which terms like shares, futures, securities, or trades destabilize notions of public and private ownership — is fair game too. Essays might speculate on the shifting relationship between architecture and private property, or riff on terms like shareholding, ridesharing, open-sourcing, co-working, co-housing, or land banking.

Contact Information

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