Leeds School of Arts

Architecture Graduate Hilary Barber wins the ‘Transforming the Urban Landscape’ competition with project partner Adam Greatrix

In October 2020, The Landscape Institute launched an international ideas contest ‘Transforming the Urban Landscape’, which called for entrants to share creative solutions for public spaces in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global climate change emergency. 

Hilary Barbers 'Back down to Earth' project

The pandemic has had a devastating effect on our lives and economy, but it has also compelled us to question our own relationship with our public spaces and natural environment, with many people asking how our streets and public spaces could be adapted to better serve communities, help cope with a pandemic, and combat climate change.

The competition, which received 160 entries from across the globe, was designed to generate new thinking in the design and management of our cities, neighbourhoods and green spaces and to offer a platform for entrants to engage with the debate about the future of our public spaces. The entrants could base their proposal on any site in the UK or overseas with the challenge to create a vision for a positive legacy for our urban environments and to offer a fresh look at how we use our streets and squares with no holds barred.

Hilary’s and Adams competition-winning entry ‘Back Down to Earth’ focuses on the South Parade in Leeds and is ‘dedicated to all the unremarkable side streets where there is real potential to radically rethink, and pioneer an environmental revolution, responding to the post Covid-19 opportunities and critically, the climate emergency for the sake of all humanity. These streets could incrementally start to enrich the social and environmental fabric of our cities. Peeling away the existing grey carpet, ‘back down to earth’ promotes an ecosystem-led approach where people and biodiversity have equal importance to create a balanced, thriving and resilient streetscape for people and nature.’

Hilary Barbers 'Back down to Earth' project

Hilary's and project partner Adam's project for the Competition

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