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International design competition launched by the NHS and EbbsFleet Development Corporation

Could you help create the first Garden City of the 21st Century?

World class ideas sought in design competition to develop a modern, healthy city at Ebbsfleet, Kent

Ebbsfleet in Kent will be the site of the first new Garden City of the 21st Century, creating 15,000 new homes, 30,000 jobs and seven city parks. It is also the largest of the 10 Healthy New Town initiatives being run by the NHS to show that land can be used to deliver health benefits.  This has created an exciting opportunity to take an innovative approach to the design and sustainability of the city and, in particular, the health of its community.

That is why the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and the NHS are launching an international design competition, managed by the Landscape Institute, to ensure the best minds in the landscape profession take on the challenge of how best to create a truly modern healthy city. The Landscape Institute’s work on public health and landscape has gathered a growing evidence base that green spaces play a vital role in healthy living. By having green spaces integrated into communities, people have the opportunity to become more active and improve their health. Even short-term exposure to green space can have a huge impact on both physical and mental well-being. Driving forward this important link is at the heart of this project.

The site at Ebbsfleet is an exciting prospect for this competition. Located 17 minutes from Central London by high-speed rail and two hours from Paris and Brussels by Eurostar, it is a major railway hub between London and Europe. It also has a unique topography that could be incorporated into any design concept – from frontages along the River Thames, to lakes and extensively-quarried chalk hills and valleys, to historic sites such as the Gilbert Scott-designed church in Northfleet.

Ideas are invited from individual landscape professionals, or teams which include landscape professionals, with multidisciplinary teams incorporating artists and engineers particularly encouraged. Entries should address the shape of the whole city, rather than just one site, with the NHS hoping to look beyond Ebbsfleet at the wider health of the nation with the ideas that are submitted.

Michael Cassidy, chairman of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, said: ‘Ebbsfleet Garden City’s landscape with its white chalk cliffs, open, green spaces and lakes provides us with a unique opportunity to provide a landscape that challenges the norm.

‘Healthy living is also a great motivation for people and people taking part will be challenged to be as creative as they can to use the Garden City’s existing landscape to its full potential.’

Dan Cook, chief executive of the Landscape Institute said: ’We applaud the leadership Ebbsfleet Development Corporation is demonstrating in launching a landscape-led design competition to help plan the new site. This decision should be an inspiration to other cities as it is a real opportunity to make a step-change in how we think about ‘place creation’. We have the opportunity to take a truly modern and multi-disciplinary approach at Ebbsfleet which could end up becoming a model for the creation of healthy new cities across the world.

‘The competition will also challenge landscape professionals to demonstrate the leadership potential of their industry in showing the way towards creating healthy living environments and how good design can powerfully incorporate green infrastructure into a project. We are passionate about the role landscape can play in our everyday lives as well as developing the landscape architects of the future, which is why it was also important to us to have a student category in to the competition.’

How the competition will work & key dates

The competition is open to UK and international entrants and aims to recognise innovation and outstanding design.  There are two categories – one for students, and one for established practitioners.

Professional practitioner competition:
Entries from landscape professionals (Chartered or equivalent in each entrant’s country of origin) or cross-disciplinary teams including landscape professionals, will be part of a two-stage process.  All shortlisted professional teams will receive an honorarium of £3,000. The final winner will receive a further cash prize of £5,000.

  • Conceptual ideas need to be submitted online by Wednesday 18 April 2018
  • From these initial concepts judges will select up to five teams to proceed to stage two. These teams will be announced in May, when they will receive a second stage brief and will have the task of developing designs for a specific site within Ebbsfleet.
  • Submissions for stage two designs need to be received by Friday 6 July 2018
  • The stage two winners will be announced in early September as part of the Landscape Institute National Conference
  • The winners will also be showcased in Landscape, the journal of the Landscape Institute, and may feature as part of an exhibition about the competition

Student competition:
The student competition is open to those who are on a recognised landscape course, or part of a multi-disciplinary team with at least one member from a recognised landscape course, in either the UK and internationally.

For the best ideas submitted during the student competition there will be one first prize of £2,000, one runner-up prize of £1,000, and two highly commended prizes of £500.

  • Conceptual ideas need to be submitted online by Wednesday 18 April 2018
  • The winner, runner-up prize and highly commended projects will be showcased in Landscape, the journal of the Landscape Institute, and may feature as part of an exhibition about the competition

Further information about the competition and how to enter can be found at www.healthygardencity.co.uk

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