Wolfson announces finalists for garden city proposals prize

Out-Law News | 04 Jun 2014 | 5:03 pm | 1 min. read

Five bidders have been shortlisted for the Wolfson Economics Prize to propose and deliver a new garden city for the UK.

Submissions by Barton Willmore, Chris Blundell, David Rudlin of Urbed, Shelter and Wei Yang & Partners are on the shortlist for the £250,000 prize. They were chosen among more than 270 submissions.

The finalists will now have until 11 August to refine and develop their entries before an overall winner will be chosen.

Barton Willmore had submitted a proposal with a ten point plan for the delivery of a new garden city, including the development of a cross-party consensus and the production of a national spatial plan to identify suitable locations for new garden cities.

Barton Willmore masterplanning director James Gross said in a statement that the proposal had been inspired by market towns and villages.

“London, our greatest city, grew out of a collection of villages. Following this model, and looking to the regions as historic power-houses of growth, we want to work with, rather than against, local land-owners and involve local people by creating opportunities to take shares in the places they live in. This will create a real incentive to see garden cities grow and succeed, putting a new perspective on achieving local popularity and reducing planning and development risk,” Gross said.

“The shortlisted entries are a fascinating mix of visionary and technically strong documents," said Iain Gilbey, planning expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com. "Each expresses a desire to stay true to the original Garden City concept, but the approaches vary enormously."

"The bids will stimulate further necessary debate in this space and even if ultimately they do not lead to project delivery in their own right they will add significantly to the impetus to create a design led approach to the much needed up scaling of market and socially inclusive housing delivery in the UK,” Gilbey said.