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Sat September 25 2021

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Anyone know how to make a city healthy?

8 Mar 18 The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and the NHS have launched an international design competition for a “modern healthy city”.

Landscape professionals from around the world are invited to submit their ideas on how to make the best use of green spaces for the proposed Ebbsfleet Garden City development so as to improve the health of residents.

Ebbsfleet in north Kent is set to be the first new Garden City of the 21st Century, with 15,000 new homes and seven city parks. It is also the largest of the 10 Healthy New Town initiatives being run by the National Health Service to show that land can be used to deliver health benefits. 

The design competition will be managed by the Landscape Institute, whose work on public health and landscape has shown a link between green spaces and healthy living.

Ideas are invited from individual landscape professionals, or teams that include landscape professionals, with multidisciplinary teams incorporating artists and engineers particularly encouraged. Entries should address the shape of the whole city, rather than just one site.

There are two categories – one for students, and one for established practitioners. All shortlisted professional teams will receive an honorarium of £3,000. The final winner will receive a further cash prize of £5,000.

The student competition has a first prize of £2,000, one runner-up prize of £1,000, and two highly commended prizes of £500.

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Further information about the competition and how to enter can be found at

Michael Cassidy, chairman of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, said: “Ebbsfleet Garden City’s landscape with its white chalk cliffs, open, green spaces and lakes provides us with a unique opportunity to provide a landscape that challenges the norm. Healthy living is also a great motivation for people and people taking part will be challenged to be as creative as they can to use the Garden City’s existing landscape to its full potential.”

Landscape Institute chief executive Dan Cook said: “We applaud the leadership Ebbsfleet Development Corporation is demonstrating in launching a landscape-led design competition to help plan the new site. This decision should be an inspiration to other cities as it is a real opportunity to make a step-change in how we think about ‘place creation’. We have the opportunity to take a truly modern and multi-disciplinary approach at Ebbsfleet which could end up becoming a model for the creation of healthy new cities across the world.”

He added: “The competition will also challenge landscape professionals to demonstrate the leadership potential of their industry in showing the way towards creating healthy living environments and how good design can powerfully incorporate green infrastructure into a project. We are passionate about the role landscape can play in our everyday lives as well as developing the landscape architects of the future, which is why it was also important to us to have a student category in to the competition.’

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