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Winners of Reimagine the Canals Competition announced

The winners of the "Reimagine the Canals" Competition were announced Wednesday.

The contest sought the best ideas to spur economic development along the canal corridor, as well as boost tourism and recreation spending

The first winning entry seeks to build pocket neighborhoods along the canal, with homes surrounding a common green space with direct access to the canal.

Jamie Kowalczyk is assistant planning director for Madison County and a member of this idea team.

The pilot neighborhood will be built in Canastota.

"I think this is the type of housing people are looking for, and I think that it's something that New York is uniquely poised to provide and there's certainly no reason why it couldn't be replicated across the whole corridor."

The second winner seeks to create a multi-day festival and boat race called the Erie Armada. It centers on breweries creating human-powered boats that could be made from common brewery items like barrels and beer cans.

Rory McEvoy, the co-founder of event design firm Area4 and on one of the winning teams, believes people will travel for the event.

Pocket Neighborhoods rendering
Pocket Neighborhoods rendering

"Within the industry and the aficionados of craft beer, there already is a willingness to travel to go try your favorite beer, to try a new collaboration or a limited release and part of our concept really does leverage that."

The contest received 145 entries from nine states and seven nations.

The competition was held as New York celebrates the 100th anniversary of the barge canal.