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‘Living Pavement’ entry scoops top prize in Future Spaces Foundation UK student design competition

A team of five Part I architecture students from the University of Bath has won this year’s Future Spaces Foundation (FSF) student design competition with their ‘Living Pavement’ concept.

This year’s competition, held virtually, focused on reimagining our streets, with seven university teams asked to create a proposal that answered the question: ‘What might a street look like in 2030, when some of the spaces given over to driving and parking space can be reclaimed?’

The winning entry, ‘Living Pavement – collective ownership framework’, suggested a gradual reclamation of roadside parking spaces that could be filled with low-carbon, pop-up community uses which can be easily swapped and changed around the city as communities’ needs change. Congratulations go to team members Chloe Clacy, Yanru He, Sam McLellan, Lara Miller and Ru Quan Phuah, whose stand-out concept and presentation earned them the £1,250 prize.

The six other teams came from Anglia Ruskin University, Birmingham City University, University of Bath, Loughborough University and University of Portsmouth, each bringing their own unique take and imaginative ideas on the concept.

This street reclamation theme grew out of an understanding that many urban spaces are transitionary – a means to move from one place to another. Over the last century, much of this space has been given over to cars. But in vital cities of the future – the heart of the FSF’s research – private vehicle ownership will be far less common, with improved public transportation, cycling and pedestrian routes, and the arrangement of the city itself all contributing to this trend. This will create an incredible opportunity to reimagine our streets – a challenge we put to these students.

Now in its third year, the annual FSF student competition is an important strand of the Foundation’s work and continues to grow, with 14 teams taking part across the United Kingdom and Australia in 2020.

Organiser of the student design competition Peter Greaves said: “I am consistently impressed by the quality of the work produced for this competition every year, the students always provide thought provoking and professionally presented ideas. This year’s theme seemed to really resonate with the participants, and if cities of the future will be designed by these soon-to-be architects, then our urban environments will be in safe hands!”

Thanks to this year’s judges, who alongside Peter Greaves were: Lee Mallett of Urbik, Nicolo Bencini of Buro Happold, and Cara Bamford of Make.