1 The Pan-American Observatory of Landscape, Territory and Architecture

The Pan-American Observatory is an organization constituted to promote and develop projects linked to Landscape, Territory and Architecture and their domains of influence in other manifestations of art, culture and society.

OPPTA conforms a web of projects that interact between them and aim to generate collective reflection, joint actions and proposals with a global repercussion.

As manager of the diverse programs, it participates actively and coordinates the involved agents establishing, at the same time, a dynamic meeting forum, with a clear aim to generate visible actions.

The OPPTA Competition (ideas competition) serves as an axis to link the other programs: Priority Action (execution of projects), Active Debates (meetings), WikiPan (digital archive) and the Publications.

2 Competition

2.1 Introduction

The OPPTA Competition calls for projects at international level under a common theme and is launched simultaneously for different sites in the American continent.

It is the first in the continent with an interregional and multidisciplinary character. Action procedures, the objectives and conditions are common to all countries, bearing the specificities derived from the particular needs of each place.

One of its principal aims is to generate a catalogue of architectural, territorial or infrastructural solutions, through projects, plans, prototypes or action protocols. A reference inventory to help prevent or act rapidly in situations of a similar kind.

The competition ties up reflection, proposal and intervention as it is directly linked to the Priority Action program, which is the execution of at least one of the winning projects.

Its organization is developed through an international network, formed by diverse advisory committees, local observers, juries and researchers, who endorse and enrich a plural and transparent process, from the proposal of themes to the jury’s resolution.

It is held biennially and, from the submitted proposals, the jury will award three prizes per site and honorable mentions. Winning proposals will be presented in the Active Debates and opt to be a Priority Action, defined as one of immediate execution for its pertinence or urgency.   

The cycle is closed by the diffusion of results through exhibitions, webs, publications and debates, aiming for a greater reach and repercussion. An ideas and projects bank for common problems proposed simultaneously and collectively, to constitute a continental reference point.

The chosen theme for the 2011 edition is Interventions for Emergency.

It will request proposals for 5 sites in the American territory and the chosen areas are risk zones or in an emergency situation in which intervention will be carried out via immediate execution, action protocols or prototypes and the planning of affected areas, at territorial, infrastructural and architectural level.

2.2 Organizer

All correspondence referred to this competition will be held with OPPTA, the competition secretariat, whose contact details are as follows:

- Postal address: Calle Fray Luis de León 12, 1º C, 28012 Madrid.

- Email address: concurso2011@oppta.org

- General web page: www.oppta.org

- Competition web page: concurso.oppta.org

All enquiries regarding these rules and the competition in general will be dealt with via email.

3 Stages and Calendar

3.1 Stages

The competition is structured in two differentiated stages:

- Ideas Competition. Open International Competition with jury held in 5 sites along the American continent. A selection of three awarded projects will be made for each site.

- Active Debates. Presentation of the awarded proposals by authors and their teams.  They will be invited to take part in two activities: public presentation of their work and meetings at Work Tables. They will have been previously given further time to elaborate them in greater detail in virtue of the dictates of the jury’s open competition report.

3.2 Calendar

- Competition launch: December 19, 2011

- Registration: December 21, 2011 to April 2, 2012

- Discount registration closes:  February 20, 2012

- Registration closes:  April 2, 2012

- Last day to submit questions: March 2, 2012

- Dates for publishing grouped answers: January 23, February 20 and March 26, 2012

- Submissions due by: April 16, 2012

- Jury evaluation: May 2012

- Announcement of awarded projects: 15 days after the jury meeting

- Award giving and Active Debates: The dates for the Active Debates will be announced within a month of the publication of the ideas competition results. The competition prizes will awarded during the celebration of the Active Debates.

4 Jury

4.1 Jury composition

Jury composed by professionals and experts in relevant fields of architecture, urbanism, landscape and the territory. Deliberations will be supported by OPPTA representatives with a right to intervene but without vote.

4.2 Jury members

The jury’s composition will be published in the web page concurso.oppta.org


5 Competitors

The call for entries for the international competition is open to multidisciplinary teams of professionals linked to the fields of architecture, landscape, urban design, planning, engineering, art, economy, geography, ecology and all the knowledge areas related with the elaboration of strategies and development of proposals in relation to Interventions for Emergency.

5.1 Team composition

Each team will count with a director that will act as representative and contact with the competition organizing committee. The team director will be required to present a university degree or diploma of his or her professional discipline. Given the case an awarded proposal is to be implemented, the director must undertake to validate his or her qualification with that corresponding to the location country of the competition site. Alternatively, he or she may opt to create a partnership with another professional legally qualified to practice in such country and who is not involved in any claim of incompatibility.

Each team will be allowed to have an unlimited number of associates, considered as project coauthors, and as such will be credited in future publications, exhibitions and in the implementation, development and execution of awarded proposals. Associates can belong to any professional area.

Each team will likewise be entitled to include collaborators, both students or professionals, that will not be credited as project coauthors.

The initial competition registration will only include the team director. The final team composition will be specified in the proposals submission form where the associates´ and collaborators´ names will be included.

No OPPTA employees, collaborators or advisors, workers or managers of the municipalities where the sites are to be located, those related to the firms or organizations collaborating and taking part in the development, funding and management of the competition, or jury members are eligible to take part in the competition. Likewise, this applies to second-degree relatives of the aforementioned. Non-compliance with any of these conditions will lead to disqualification of the contestant or team. It must be pointed out that these conditions refer to the current edition of the OPPTA competition, and thus will not prevent those involved in its organization as mentioned above from competing in subsequent sessions. 

Members of the Pan-American Observatory Association are entitled to take part in the competition.

6 Registration and Competition Documents

6.1 Free access documents

From the public launch of the competition it will be possible, through the OPTA competition website, concurso.oppta.org, to access the general information and summarized technical files of the proposed sites. Information will be freely available and no prior registration will be required to download it. For each site, the file will include:


-Aerial photograph

-Site photographs

-Basic project data

-Description of site problems in relation to the competition theme.

6.2 Registration

Registration will be carried out as indicated in the competition website: concurso.oppta.org

Registration opens on December 21, 2011 and closes on April 2, 2012 at 20:00 Central European Time (CET = GMT + 1:00).

OPPTA makes available for the contestants a digital platform from which to manage questions and the upload and download of documentation (download of rules and regulations and upload of panels, reports and forms). This tool has a benefitial effect for the contestants, who will be able to submit their proposals through it and thus avoid printing and posting costs.

Registration fees are as follows:

Non members of the Pan-American Observatory Association

- Registration for 1 site: 75 euros.

- Registration for 2 or more sites: 40 euros (per new site).

Members of the Pan-American Observatory Association

- Registration for 1 site until February 20, 2012: 50 euros .

- Registration for 1 site from February 21, 2012 to April 2, 2012: 65 euros.

- Registration for 2 or more sites: 30 euros (per new site)

To benefit from reduced registration fees (and other advantages and discounts – Active Debates, Publications etc.), the contestant or team director must have a membership before registering for the competition. Identification will be through the email address used to apply for membership. The team director’s membership is required, whilst the other team members are invited to join if they so wish.

Submission of proposals for more than one site are allowed, up to the total number included in the competition. A registration fee will be payable per site regardless of the number of members in a team. Once registered, a welcome mail with a COMPETITION CODE. The valid registration date will be that when the fee is paid and no other.

Registration payment may be carried out in either of the following ways:


Registration fee payment with credit card through the security platform provided to OPPTA by BANCA CIVICA It will be formalized following the registration steps indicated in the CONTESTANTS AREA in the competition’s website: concurso.oppta.org. Registration will be done following the instructions in the payment platform.


Registration fee payment can be made by transfer to the following bank account:

Observatorio Panamericano-España


CUENTA: 2054 0485 17 91 9023 2142

IBAN: ES62 2054 0485 17 91 9023 2142



As part of the payment details  in the transfer the number shown as CONCEPT will be indicated in the site: “Payment by bank transfer. To pay by bank transfer you will need the following details”.

With this payment option and in order to activate access, a scanned copy of the transfer order and/or deposit justifying the corresponding payment will be emailed to registro@OPPTA.org

Note 1: No registry that has not been formalized in these terms will be valid.

Note 2. Bank commissions or transfer costs will not be included in the registration fee. Such costs will have to be assumed by the interested party.

6.3 Competition documentation

In the folder for each of the competition sites the following base information will be included:

- Site document in .pdf format. Texts will be written in two languages: that of the site´s country and, complementarily, English, Portuguese or Spanish.

- Base drawing in .dwg format.

- Scaled aerial photograph

- Ground level site photographs

- Information regarding scheduled site visits

It must be pointed out that the information for a given site may vary in regard to others in relation to its particular conditions, problems to be solved and expected nature and definition of the proposals to be submitted.

7 Questions and answers

7.1 Questions

Besides organizing the competition, OPPTA will oversee the compliance of its rules and regulations by all contestants. Any doubts and communications related to this competition will be attended to on the following email address: consultas@oppta.org. 

7.2 Regular publishing of answers

Technical answers to all doubts will be directly published in the questions section in the competition website: concurso.oppta.org. This section will be regularly updated until March 26, 2012, three weeks before the submission deadline, when the period for questions will be closed. Beyond this date no further answers will be given to technical questions or doubts. All doubts formulated up to that date will remain published until the end of the competition. 

All those queries related to registration, registration number or any aspect related to fees, payments or bank transfers will be attended to during the registration period on the email address registro@oppta.org

7.3 Site visits and updated news

Dates and other relevant information regarding competition site visits will be published in the web page concurso.oppta.org. with enough time in advance to facilitate the participation of the maximum possible number of those interested. Likewise news and updates on the competition and its sites will be regularly published.

All relevant notices will be sent to the contestants to the mail indicated in the competition registration.

8 Items to be submitted

8.1 Anonymity

OPPTA undertakes to safeguard at all times the anonymity of each proposal during the course of the competition.

Works will only be presented with their registry number, that must be appear in the top right corner of all images, so as to be examined by the Jury under anonymity.

Any marks, logos, icons, symbols or any that may identify its author are forbidden in the images.

The registry number will be the only element with which the received proposals will be organized, processed and assessed.

OPPTA will classify the images by their registry numbers, keeping complementary information in a separate envelope, and only after the jury’s evaluation will the competitors´ names be known.

If a proposal’s author wishes to remain anonymous were he or she not to be awarded a prize or a special mention, he or she will can request it through the email registro@oppta.org before the submission deadline date. 

8.2 Documents and submission format

The contestant’s code will be needed to identify competition entry submissions (uploading of information) and will form part of the code included in the proposal documents.

A total of 5 compressed files in .rar or .zip formats will be submitted with the following documentation:


- File Name: COMPETITION CODE + country code + 1  (eg: XXXXXXBR1.rar)

- Contents: a single file in pdf format

- Dimensions: Portrait DIN A1 (594x840 mm)

- Maximum size: 10 MB


- File Name: COMPETITION CODE + country code + 2  (eg: XXXXXXBR2.rar)

- Contents: a single file in format

- Dimensions: Portrait DIN A1 (594x840 mm)

- Maximum size: 10 MB


- File Name: COMPETITION CODE + country code + 3  (eg: XXXXXXBR3.rar)

- Contents: a single file in format

- Dimensions: Portrait DIN A1 (594x840 mm)

- Maximum size: 10 MB


- File Name: COMPETITION CODE + country code + 4  (eg: XXXXXXBR4.rar)

- Contents: a single file in format with the project´s explanatory report, including the scaled panels.

- Document dimensions Landscape DIN A3 (297 x 420 mm).

- Maximum size: 5 MB


- File Name: COMPETITION CODE + country code + 5  (eg: XXXXXXBR5.rar)

- Contents:

· Completed administrative form in .pdf format. It can be downloaded from the restricted access area.

· Scanned passport of the team director and each of the team members in .pdf format

· Team director’s scanned university or school diploma or a membership certificate of a relevant professional body in .pdf format.

- Maximum size: 3 MB

Panels will include all the graphic and written information deemed necessary by the contestant to define the proposal adequately.

Taking such parameters into consideration, the minimum font size for the text included in the panels will be 10 points. 

All techniques or forms of graphic expression to explain the proposal will be allowed.

Any verbal (or numerical) description included in the project documents will be in one of the three official competition languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish.

No additional information to that mentioned above may be submitted.

No marks, logos, brands or any element that may identify their author can be incorporated, save for the CONTESTANT CODE, which must appear on the top right corner both of the panels and the report pages.

8.3 Sending of submissions

Proposals will be submitted accessing the COMPETITIORS ACCESS restricted area of the OPPTA COMPETITION website (concurso.oppta.org) and following the instructions included in the COMPETITION SUBMISSION section. In case of having difficulties to upload the document from the website, competitors will have to inform of the incident by email to entregaconcurso@oppta.org.

Incidents in uploading information will be admitted up to 4 hours before the submission deadline. The server establishes a register of document uploading attempts. Thereby OPPTA will not accept submissions past the DEADLINE, save for the case of an incident having been informed BY EMAIL and recorded in the SYSTEM´S REGISTRY. Submissions uploaded to the server after the deadline and whose eventuality cannot be demonstrated to be a genuine documentation loading attempt will be disqualified.

The submission deadline will be April 16, 2012 at  20.00 hours Central European Time (CET = GMT + 1).

OPPTA will publish, 15 days after the end of the deadline date, the reception report indicating the number of submitted works and the contestant codes. It is the participants’ responsibility to verify that their code/s has been included in the list after its publishing in OPPTA COMPETITION’s web, concurso.oppta.org

OPPTA will be in charge of compiling the proposals and make them available to the jury, maintaining at all time the anonymity of their authorship.

There will be no possibility of uploading or handing in additional information beyond the indicated deadline, save for cases of proved incidents, registered in the operating system and email.  

9 Evaluation Criteria and Jury´s Decision

9.1 General criteria

The submitted proposals will be evaluated both in terms of their answer and solutions to the initial determined in the theme of OPPTA competition´s current edition and in relation to its potential development as part of the Observatory’s following projects (Active Debates, Priority Actions, Wikipan). The jury will particularly value in the projects:

- Ability to identify latent potentialities from the analysis and diagnosis of the proposal’s initial data.

- Proposal’s potential in generating prospects and added value through the design of spaces, infrastructures and particular architectures together with action programmes or protocols.

- Relation with larger domains beyond the site’s boundary, particularly in terms of the potential to integrate with existing processes and generate new ones.

- Proposal’s flexibility in adapting to or incorporating possible future changes.

- Development and sustainable management viability.

- Design quality as an asset for emergency interventions.

- Clear communication and precise definition of the project criteria and ideas.        

9.2 Particular site related criteria

The detailed documentation for each proposed site will include a chapter on its specific evaluation criteria.

9.3 Jury decision

In a yet to be determined date, mutually agreed on by the jury members and OPPTA, a plenary meeting will be held to asses the competition entries.

Prior to any other consideration, an agreement will be reached on accepting or disqualifying each of the proposals in terms of their compliance with the competition rules

The jury will explain, and thus it will be reregistered in a public report, the reasons for its choice of winners and honorable mentions. The report will also include the jury’s discussion, indicating the successive discards that have been made.

10 Prizes

A maximum of three proposals per each of the 4 competition sites will be shortlisted, and their authors will be invited to participate in the ensuing stages of Active Debates and selection of Priority Actions. The jury reserves the right to limit the number of prizes awarded per site if it considers there not to be a sufficient number of quality proposals in relation to the evaluation criteria. The three selected teams per site (a total of 15) will be awarded a prize of  € 2,500, that will be paid after their participation in the Active Debates.   

11 Development of Proposals. Active Debates and Priority Action

The shortlisted teams will be invited to take part, in a phase following the competition, in the Active Debates where they will have to make a public presentation of their proposals and attend meetings (Project Tables) with the advisors, jury members, municipality representatives, managers, consultants, multilateral agencies, OPPTA members and any other agents involved or related to the development of the proposed sites.

In case of being unable to attend, members from the shortlisted teams will be able to name a representative to participate in their name in the Active Debates conference. It will be the teams’ responsibility to produce the material for their proposals’ public presentation following the indications included in the invitations.

Non acceptance of the invitation by the shortlisted teams will be automatically interpreted as a renunciation to participate in the ensuing competition stages, including the Active Debates and the Priority Actions programme.

11.1 Presentation of winning proposals

The public presentations of the projects will be structured by site. As an introduction to each session an OPPTA member will synthesize the problematic and starting criteria  initially put forward in the call for the competition and the winning proposals.

Each team will then have 30 minutes to present their project in detail, focusing on those aspects it may consider more relevant. The presentation format and any additional information to the competition proposal will be specified in the invitation to take part in the Active Debates. Once the presentations have concluded a questions and answers session between the attending public and the team representatives will be open, moderated by an OPPTA member.

11.2 Project tables

Each of the winning teams will meet separately at the Project Tables with the stakeholders related to the possible development, management, finance and publicizing of the selected proposals.  

11.3 Priority Action

Each worktable will propose one of the shortlisted projects for its implementation as Priority Action. Exceptionally, proposals for the same site may be selected in conjunction if it is considered that these may be complementary in their development.

12 Spreading of Awarded Proposals and Participation in OPPTA’s Activities

In terms of Intellectual Property for the whole of point 12, the provisions made in point 13.2 of these rules will be considered.

12.1 Travelling exhibition

All of the proposals formulated within the framework of the OPPTA competition will become part on a permanent basis of WIKIPAN, OPPTA’s free access digital documentary base.

12.2 Wikipan

All images presented to the Competition will become, as integral part of WIKIPAN, in files and documents open to be used in the exhibitions, presentations and publications to be made regarding or of the event itself. 

OPPTA reserves the right to organize a public exhibition of the work presented in the competition. In such case all participants will be informed, whether their proposals have been awarded or not.

12.3 Publications

OPPTA undertakes to publish in its web the submitted and admitted works once the OPPTA Competition is resumed. OPPTA guarantees in this way the participants’ right to examine all the submitted proposals and confront them with each other.

OPPTA reserves the right to publish the graphic and written material of the submitted competition proposals, indicating the names of the directors, associates and collaborators responsible for the projects’ authorships. The intellectual property moral rights of the work will always and in any case belong to the authors.

13 Rights and Obligations

13.1 Acceptance of rules

By registering for the Competition, contestants immediately formalize the unconditional and complete acceptance of the current rules, together with the jury’s final decisions. Participation and registry in the Competition thus supposes the understanding and voluntary compliance to the previously exposed conditions.

The registry fee will not be refunded once the registration has been made.

OPPTA reserves the right to include updates in the Rules (dates, deadlines or requisites) in the occurrence of any exceptional situation, the case always being they will be for the common good of the participants and the better development of the current competition.

13.2 Intellectual property

The authors will retain the moral rights of intellectual property of the submitted works. None of the proposals, including those receiving awards, can be used for another end nor as material to elaborate projects by architects other than their respective authors.

Contestants in the OPPTA Competition, having their proposals been shortlisted or not, expressly cede and in exclusivity to OPPTA the exploitation rights of the projects submitted to the OPPTA Competition.

None of the proposals, not even the awarded ones, can be used for other ends different to those expressed in the OPPTA Competition nor as material for the elaboration of other projects by architects different to the respective authors.

OPPTA fixes as a reference legal framework the domain of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), to whose compliance are voluntarily submitted 185 countries and includes, amongst other norms, the 1971 Berne Convention. OPPTA likewise makes use of copyright and Creative Commons license as a tool that facilitates the distribution and use of contents within the public domain, generating a legal framework that acknowledges  author’s rights, quotes his work and its restrictions.

13.3 Commitment of non disclosure of identity and of proposals by contestants

Contestants commit to not disclose or publish in any form their proposals before the jury’s verdict and the official publication of the competition’s results in its first phase. Breaching of anonymity will result in an automatic expulsion from the competition.

13.4 Final disposition

The current competition will abide by these rules and regulations, empowering OPPTA and the jury to resolve any aspect not explicitly hereby addressed. All decisions to, given the case, be made, will respect the anonymity principles and non discrimination of contestants with respect to others.  

The jury, through majority voting, is exclusively authorized and responsible for the election of the competition award winners and its decision will be final.

Since, upon registering, contestants accept the jury’s final decisions, both OPPTA and the jury members are exonerated from any possible sue (civil, criminal or in any other jurisdictional regime; national or foreign) in the case of any contestant or team showing their disagreement with the final results.  

OPPTA’s commitment with the contestants awarded with any or some of the prizes announced through these rules and regulations, is limited to the total sum of the conceded prizes. The legal relationships between OPPTA and the contestants will be regulated by the present document, and no subsequent labour or civil relationships between OPPTA and the contestants or winners of the present Competition will be derived from these.


19 December 2011    

flecha_menu_principal.pngLaunch of Competition

21 December 2011    

flecha_menu_principal.pngOpening of registration period

23 January 2012    

flecha_menu_principal.pngFirst query resolution release

20 February 2012    

flecha_menu_principal.pngDeadline for discount registration period
flecha_menu_principal.pngSecond query resolution release

20 March 2012    

flecha_menu_principal.pngDeadline for receipt of queries

26 March 2012    

flecha_menu_principal.pngLast query resolution release

EXTENSION 20 April 2012    

flecha_menu_principal.pngDeadline for registration period

EXTENSION 4 May 2012    

flecha_menu_principal.pngDeadline for submission of proposals
20.00 hours Central European Time (CET = GMT + 1)

May 2012    

flecha_menu_principal.pngJury's decision