Competition Brief

An international ideas competition on streets, squares and greenspaces in response to COVID-19.

About The Competition

The competition is designed to generate new thinking; to acknowledge the history of public health and landscape initiatives; and most of all, to offer a platform for entrants to engage with the debate about the future of our public spaces.

Submissions are invited for an open ideas competition to address the demands that COVID-19 is making on the landscapes of our Cities and Towns. The competition, organised by the Landscape Institute is supported by GreenBlue Urban, Ground Control, Hardscape, Selux and Vestre.

The aim of the competition is to respond to the current debates on the design and use of our urban landscape in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Collaboration is encouraged and entries from teams are welcome.

Students and professionals from around the world are invited to enter and there is a cash prize for the winner of each category:

First Prize (professional category): £2000

First Prize (student category): £500

It will look at issues such as:
  • changing policy and regulatory framework affecting the use of highways;
  • the debates over reclaiming road space for walkers, runners and cyclists;
  • the decline of the traditional high street;
  • the reduction in people travelling into our cities to work;
  • changes in spatial requirements to facilitate social distancing;
  • opportunities created by 5G networks;
  • the impact of the climate and biodiversity crisis;
  • the importance of greener recovery and the need to work with all of those with an engagement with our shared urban landscapes in a debate about the future of how we manage, plan and design these important spaces.
  • the role that our urban spaces play in improving health and wellbeing
  • the importance of high quality green space


Entrants may base their proposal on any site in the UK or overseas. This could be a neighbourhood which may have become familiar to the entrants through running, walking or cycling over the past few weeks or a place that you pass through on your way to work or university.

The focus of the competition is on high streets, squares, parks and other similar spaces.

Entrants should assume that there are no constraints such as land ownership, land prices, budgets or planning restrictions. Although proposals should address a particular site, entrants may choose to propose methods, systems or elements which could be replicated in any location.

Entries can range from a series of interventions to bold landmark statements, but they must provide the public with a unique outdoor experience which demonstrates a keen sensitivity to the chosen site.

Entrants are invited to do the following:

  • Consider how your chosen place may need to be adapted in order to address the challenges presented by COVID-19
  • 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
  • Consider the health and wellbeing of the local community
  • Address the climate and biodiversity emergency
  • Consider the benefits of greener recovery
  • Focus on the need to create well-designed places which help citizens to lead healthy and safe lives
  • 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
  • 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
  • Where a space uses street furniture and other products, entrants are requested to use and identify those manufactured by one of our sponsors. Specification for this can be found on the Resources pages.

A digital approach

The competition will be run online. Judging panels, evaluation of submissions and an exhibition of submissions will be digital. There will be an online exhibition of all entries on this website from mid-December 2020.

Categories: student and professional competition

There will be two separate competitions, following the same brief, for both students and professionals.  

Submission format

Two A3 boards supplied as a single PDF. Included on the A3 boards should be:

  • A visual representation of your idea, this can be in any medium – painting, CGI, drawing, collage, photography or CAD drawing and/or an animation or video
  • An indication of the location for your proposed project
  • A statement of no more than 250 words which includes the title of your idea, description of the proposal and why and how your idea does what you want it to do
  • A list of products by the competition sponsors that have been used
  • Your name and/or organisation name
  • The title of your project
  • The boards can be presented landscape or portrait

Please note the additional entry requirements on the submit your entry page, including a short description of the project (up to 100 words) and up to 4 images for use in publicity and the online exhibition.

Please ensure that you allow enough time to complete your submission and upload before the closing time. Late entries will not be accepted.

Download as PDF

Download the competition brief as a PDF document.