The BBC is planning a design competition to create bus stops that will get commuters talking and having fun. The brief will be to create a dozen bus stops across central Manchester that will either trigger social interaction or 'persuade people to play'.
The news follows the success of a similar competition by Bradford Metropolitan District Council, which was won last week by Leeds-based Bauman Lyons Architects.
Bauman Lyons' heated bus shelters, powered by wind turbines, will feature the work of local artists to entertain waiting commuters. Bradford hopes the project will help with its bid to be the Capital of Culture in 2008.Yorkshire Arts, First Bradford and the Royal Society of Arts all contributed to the £194,000 budget.
Bauman Lyons' director Irena Bauman said the design of the shelters - 'the smallest democratic spaces' was a complex process since it involved both standardisation and the creation of something a bit different. As a result of her experience, she is now lecturing around the country on bus stop design, she said.
Bauman is bidding to design the stops along the planned Leeds supertram route and plans to enter the Manchester competition.
The BBC's 'Watch this space' competition, to be funded by the Arts Council, will be launched later in the year.