Landscape Institute launches international ideas competition on ‘Transforming the Urban Landscape’

The Landscape Institute, in partnership with sponsors GreenBlue Urban, Ground Control, Hardscape, Selux and Vestre, has launched an international ideas competition to find creative solutions for green spaces, streets and squares in response to COVID-19.

The ‘Transforming the urban landscape’ ideas competition challenges entrants to use their creativity and experience to create a vision for how our new world might look taking account of the intersection between health, climate & biodiversity crises we are facing today.

  • It is open to students and professionals from any discipline from around the world – cross-disciplinary teams are encouraged
  • Proposals may be based on any site, anywhere around the world
  • It could be a series of interventions or a bold landmark statement
  • We are offering a first prize of £2000 (practitioner) or £500 (student), plus sponsor accolades for this competition.

“COVID-19 is a wake-up call, requiring us to re-think the meaning of public space in our towns and cities. We need new public space norms, principles, and rules to ensure that cities can provide breathing spaces for their residents as a top priority. This competition is an exciting opportunity for designers to brainstorm, reimagine and inspire a new world of public space”, says LI President and competition judge Jane Findlay.

“We want encourage people with bold, fresh, creative ideas – from around the planet – who are passionate about how the way people, place and nature interact might change in our urban landscapes going forward. We want all entrants to consider the full range of social, economic and environmental with key considerations ranging from health to climate and inequality,” said Dan Cook LI CEO .

Creating a vision for a positive legacy

COVID-19 has had a devastating and unprecedented effect on people’s lives, economies and the places they live. There are debates being had around the globe on the design and use of green spaces, streets and squares in light of this crisis. In this competition we are looking for ideas related to the following themes:

Environmental benefits

  • Addressing the impact of the climate and biodiversity crisis;
  • Helping promote a greener recovery
  • The importance of high quality green space.
  • Engagement with our shared urban landscapes in a debate about the future of how we manage, plan and design these important spaces.

Economic benefits

  • Propose ideas that might go beyond the design of space to include economic development, clustering of useful amenities and the complete rethinking of public spaces
  • Address the decline of the traditional high street & provide new ideas for reinvention;
  • Realise opportunities created by 5G networks & other digital technologies;

Healthy places

  • The role that our urban spaces play in improving health and wellbeing
  • Consider how your chosen place may need to be adapted in order to address the challenges presented by COVID-19 eg spatial requirements to facilitate social distancing;
  • Consider the way in which the chosen site might be designed to address the demands of social distancing as well as the lessons learned from lock down in terms of reduced air pollution and increased space for nature

Inclusive environments

  • Propose a range of design ideas to improve the look, feel and management of a street, public square, park or similar location
  • Meet the needs of users at every point of their engagement with the public realm as pedestrians, as carers, as cyclists, as people with a range of abilities and disabilities, as car-users and as those taking exercise
  • Address inequality and promote landscape justice


  • changing policy and regulatory framework affecting the use of streets and highways;
  • the debates over reclaiming road space for walkers, runners and cyclists;
  • the reduction in people travelling into our cities to work;

Submit your online entry by 4 December

  • Enter following the requirements set out in our competition brief
  • Online submissions close 5pm 4 December 2020
  • Winners will be announced on 15 December 2020 and all submissions will be featured in an online exhibition.
  • More details are available at the competition website

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