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Landscape Institute competition reveals future shape of the high street

The ideas entered into the Landscape Institute’s latest international design competition provide insight into the future design and management of the public realm.

The competition attracted 160 student and professional entries from China, Thailand, Israel, Turkey, Denmark, Spain and the UK.

President of the Landscape Institute, Jane Findlay commented: “The competition was designed to generate new thinking and to offer a platform for entrants to engage with the debate about the future of our public spaces. I was delighted to see such imaginative and hopeful thinking’.

“The quality of the submissions was incredible, not only in the standard of presentation but also the quality of thought and creativity. There is a great deal of talent out there, it is exciting to see that that the quality of the design of our urban spaces is in safe hands if we give our designers the opportunity to truly exercise their skills.”

The winners were announced today at the Landscape Institute end of year webinar.


Professional category winner: Back Down To Earth

A joint collaboration between landscape architect, graphic designer and artist Hilary Barber and Adam Greatrix, the associate partner from the Gillespies Leeds studio. The proposal is based around the street where they work – South Parade, Leeds.

Student category winner: Link Area – Flowing Connection After The Pandemic

Zhouhui Lu, a student at the University of Sheffield, chose an abandoned space in the centre of an area in his hometown in Beijing. It was designed as an open urban green space that could gradually transition from artificial to a natural environment by creating new habitats.


A number of entries indicated concern about mental health, health and wellbeing and community. Entry names such ‘let health care be more than in hospital’; ‘landscape safety net’; ‘cities need to breathe’; ‘no car parks’, ‘nature based solutions to climate change’; and ‘adapt landscape planning for city centres’ indicate the range of concerns.

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