IHBC’s HESPR ‘Special Interest Sector News’ pick of the week: LI’s international ideas competition, for after COVID-19

logoThe IHBC’s heritage business register HESPR – our Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition quality assurance scheme for heritage services – emails members weekly ‘News and Tender Alerts, with notices from across the development sector’s publications, and this week features the Landscape Institute’s (LI) international ideas competition on streets, squares and greenspaces in response to COVID-19: Transforming the urban landscape.

… wake-up call, requiring us to re-think the meaning of public space in our towns and cities…

The Landscape Institute President and competition judge Jane Findlay CMLI writes:

In recent years providing green and public spaces in the city has gained more importance and continued to be a significant indicator of the quality of urban life.

However, these dynamics also went hand in hand with treating public spaces as a mere commodity– today, it is quite difficult to find open public spaces in cities where people can simply sit, interact with each other, or circulate without having to consume something.

The growth of city living and densification to provide affordable homes has added yet more limitations to providing quality open public space in our towns and cities.

…. in March the world entered the Covid-19 pandemic era, where we have learned to apply a new concept to the use of public spaces: social distancing….

As soon as the lock-down measures were relaxed, outdoor café areas and restaurants, beaches, and parks were completely packed again…..

This is a wake-up call, requiring us to re-think he meaning of public space in our towns and cities. We need new public space norms, principles, and rules to ensure that cities can provide breathing spaces for their residents as a top priority.

This competition is an exciting opportunity for designers to brainstorm, reimagine and inspire a new world of public space.

Read more….

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