In October 2020, The Landscape Institute launched an international ideas contest to rethink streets and squares in response to Covid-19 and climate change. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on our lives and economy, but it has also compelled us to question our own relationship with our public spaces and natural environment, with many people asking how our streets and public spaces could be adapted to better serve communities, help cope with a pandemic, and combat climate change.
Below are a number of bold visions from our team, of how urban public spaces could be adapted to provide a positive and long-lasting legacy for everyone.
Back down to earth - Overall winner of the professional category.
by Adam Greatrix, Associate Partner and Hilary Barber, Graphic Designer
‘This project is dedicated to all the unremarkable side streets where there is real potential to radically rethink, and pioneer an environmental revolution, responding to the post-Covid-19 opportunities and critically, the climate emergency for the sake of all humanity, these streets could incrementally start to enrich the social and environmental fabric of our cities. Peeling away the existing grey carpet, ‘back down to earth', to promote an ecosystem led approach where people and biodiversity have equal importance to create a balanced, thriving and resilient streetscape for people and nature.’
View the boards here.
Bringing Down Walls
by Androniki Strongioglou, Senior Landscape Architect
‘Council Estates in the UK have been left to deteriorate. Walls and fences surround underutilised and low amenity green or paved spaces. Our proposal creates a pilot scheme in Dalston, East London; breaking down the barriers. These spaces become the catalyst seed for growth, creating colourful biodiverse and healthy experiences. This is for the residents, passers-by and walking commuters to discover green respite; an oasis within the city to have incidental meaningful interactions with people and nature.’
Bring Down Walls - Competition entry by Androniki Strongioglou
by Stephen Richards, Partner
‘Our simple proposal is to use the timeless geometry of a circle to outline an implied territory around a tree or social groupings of trees. This circle can be a glade or a cutting, it can be a halo floating within a forest or a ribbon that binds. Our notion is that this device, both beautiful and poetic, is a timely reminder that we do not exist alone and that life on earth thrives because it is inextricably linked to the soil, air, water and a multitude of organisms that rely on one another. This could be a memorial or alternatively, marking a moment in time when we turned a corner and regained our equilibrium with the planet.’