Student Team from Waseda University Wins First Asia Pacific ULI Hines Student Competition

Winning entry outlines plans to transform Jurong Lake District in Singapore as a sustainable and vibrant mixed-use community

(SINGAPORE) – Hines, the global real estate investment, development, and property manager, today announced that an interdisciplinary team of four graduate students from Waseda University in Japan are crowned winners at the inaugural Urban Land Institute (ULI) Hines Student Competition Asia Pacific. The prestigious annual competition, which began in 2003 in the Americas, expanded to Europe in 2020 and the Asia Pacific region this year.

The competition was the brainchild of legendary developer Gerald D. Hines, founder of the Hines real estate organization, and aims to raise interest in the key aspects of urban development and redevelopment among younger generations to help foster the creation of better communities. Each year, competing students apply their skills and knowledge of all aspects of real estate and land use to devise development projects for an existing site in a major city. In Asia Pacific, 19 teams from all around the region enrolled in the 2023 Asia Pacific competition, representing 15 universities from Singapore, Australia, China, Hong Kong S.A.R., India, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam. The three finalists were from Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea.

The winning entry was selected by a jury of six, comprised of regional and local industry leaders from the real estate and built environment sector. The jury was co-chaired by Peter Hyland, director, Urbis (Australia) & Cistri Pte Ltd, and Choon-Fah Ong, board member, Edmund Tie Holdings. Rounding out the jury are Ray Lawler, chief executive officer, Asia Pacific, Hines; Yvonne Lim, group director of physical planning, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA); Xiaomei Lee, regional managing principal, Gensler Greater China; and Mr. Dzung Nguyen, Co-founder, chief executive officer, enCity.

Teams were tasked with envisioning a proposal that best capitalizes on this unique waterfront site, addressing issues of sustainability, accessibility and connectivity within the site and surrounding communities, as well as the integration of natural and heritage elements within the Jurong Lake District (JLD) - planned as Singapore’s largest mixed-use business district in the western edge of the city state. The winning team from Waseda University in Tokyo, called Team Omusubi, conducted research into Singapore’s demographic landscape to deep-dive into the issues facing the community. Their winning plan, titled Jurong Urban Health Campus, envisions JLD as a model for the future of urban healthy living.

Team Omusubi – comprising of Kento Yoshino, Taichi Kawasaki, Haoyang Xu, and Misato Fujii – conceived a sustainable design plan that aims to transform JLD into a connected environment by utilizing spaces in a multifunctional way – showcasing what a city of the future could look like. Their plan catered to Singaporeans’ lifestyles, work culture, family needs, nature, and heritage, striking a balance of land-use decisions. It encompassed the vision of thriving neighborhoods, served by community-centric amenities and green spaces that are well-connected within 10 minutes by foot, cycling, or public transport.

“I was very impressed by the caliber of submissions from the students and also by the diversity of the schools in the region,” said Ray Lawler, juror and chief executive officer, Asia Pacific, Hines. “With its expansion to the Asia Pacific region, the ULI Hines Student Competition has evolved as a key platform for the future leaders of our industry to create better communities worldwide.”

Lawler continued, “As the fastest-growing economic powerhouse in the world, the region faces challenges such as rapid population growth, aging populations, climate change, and urban migration. We will be in a better position to solve these problems if we support and inspire the next generation of leaders to create sustainable communities.”

“We are grateful for Hines’ partnership with ULI and for bringing the competition to the Asia Pacific region so students here can take a hands-on approach to solving real-world challenges in the built environment,” said David Faulkner, president, ULI Asia Pacific. “These students are the future of our industry, and they are now better equipped to shape the world’s cities and have a positive impact on the communities we serve. I would like to congratulate Team Omusubi and all the competitors on displaying tremendous passion for design and urban development. I also want to thank the jury for dedicating their time to this competition and their generosity to guide the next generation of real estate leaders.”

The winning team will receive a one-year ULI student membership, gaining access to ULI’s membership base and knowledge and learning platform.

NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS: Additional information on the ULI Hines Student Competition can be found here. A gallery of all 2023 submissions and teams is online at

About the Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute is a non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 46,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information on ULI, please visit, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

About the ULI Hines Student Competition

The ULI Hines Student Competition was created with a generous endowment from long-time ULI leader Gerald Hines, founder of the Hines real estate organization. The program is part of an ongoing ULI effort to raise interest among young people in creating better communities and improving urban development patterns. The competition encourages cooperation and teamwork — necessary talents in the planning, design, and development of sustainable communities — among future land use professionals and allied professions.

About Hines

Hines is a global real estate investment, development and property manager. The firm was founded by Gerald D. Hines in 1957 and now operates in 30 countries. We manage nearly $96B1 in high-performing assets across residential, logistics, retail, office, and mixed-use strategies. Our local teams serve 685 properties totaling nearly 216 million square feet globally. We are committed to a net zero carbon target by 2040 without buying offsets. To learn more about Hines, visit and follow @Hines on social media.

¹Includes both the global Hines organization and RIA AUM as of December 31, 2022.