St Cuthbert’s Garden Village Ideas Competition, Carlisle

A landscape vision for the future

About The Competition

On behalf of Carlisle City Council, Landscape Institute challenges landscape professionals and students to collaborate with other built environments professions, artists, and place-makers, to create a vision for St Cuthbert’s Greenway. This competition is looking for your innovative ideas and propositions to work with and exploit the unique constraints and opportunities of the site in order to create an active, engaging, and thriving place that promotes the Garden City principles and makes them relevant for 2021 and beyond.

The proposal should respond sensitively and creatively to the site context and reflect the unique character of the area in order to create a locally distinctive design. 

A defining feature of garden communities is that they should provide a generous amount of green space. As St Cuthbert’s has evolved, Carlisle City Council have committed to a ‘Start with the Park’ approach. A principle aim of the St Cuthbert’s masterplan is that the development of the new communities here will
be landscape-led, capitalising on the rivers, world-class views, unique landscape character and connections to the surrounding countryside to create a network of high quality, active landscapes and new neighbourhoods that are distinctly Carlisle. The St Cuthbert’s masterplan aims to create places and spaces for people first and then buildings.

Entrants should consider how their proposals embed the ‘Start with the Park’ approach and how green infrastructure and public space can deliver and support the other vision principles.

Entrants can refer to the various background documents and baseline studies set out in Resources section which will give a comprehensive overview of the local area, immediate site context, opportunities and constraints.

The entries should encompass eight themes into an innovative, informed and well considered scheme.

  • Connectivity
  • Green infrastructure
  • Sustainable drainage
  • Climate change resilience
  • Interface with the surrounding environment
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Inclusive and accessible
  • Identity, distinctiveness, sense of place

Competition structure

There are two categories for the competition – professional and student.


The professional competition will follow a two-stage process.

Stage One

The first stage competition is for concept ideas focused on the Greenway but with reference to wider site aspirations. Stage One will invite a broad range of entrants with freedom to communicate visions and ideas. We would like you to excite us with your concept, your understanding of the site and the ability, creativity and innovativeness of your team.

Each of the three entrants selected to progress to Stage Two of the competition will be awarded an honorarium of £5,000.

There will be no formal site visit for Stage One, however, entrants are welcome to visit the site should they wish. We ask that any visits are conducted with respect for landowners and that only Public Rights of Way are used for access.

An online Q & A session hosted by a representative of the Landscape Institute
will be available on Tuesday 17th August at 2pm.


Stage Two

Stage Two will be offered to the three strongest entries. Stage Two will invite entrants to develop their proposals for the Greenway in more detail. It is intended that the winning entry will form the basis for the future design and implementation of the Greenway.

The winner of the professional category will receive a £10,000 cash prize and be invited to enter into a contract with Carlisle City Council to develop and deliver the design. 


The student competition will be single stage. The focus of the student competition will be around the question:

“If St Cuthbert’s is to ‘start with the park’ how would you design the park to ensure that it is the heart of the garden village.”


We would like you to illustrate your ideas for how a new central park and Greenway will inspire a different way of living across St Cuthbert’s, as a community of the future, based on healthy living and access to high-quality green and natural spaces. Entrants can be landscape architecture students or students of any other discipline.


The student entries will be divided into:

  • students of landscape architecture at undergraduate or graduate level

  • other undergraduate/post graduate courses

There will be two winners selected, one from each category, who will be awarded a prize of £1,500. There will also be one runner up for each category selected with a prize award of £500.