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Revealed: 20-strong High Line for London competition shortlist

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From vertical gardens to book exchanges, judges were impressed by the diversity and vision of the 170 entries from around the world to the competition to enhance the capital’s green infrastructure, inspired by New York’s High Line

From opening up canals as a commuter route for swimmers to bus stop roof orchards, the High Line for London competition attracted an extraordinary range of concepts to ‘enrich the capital’s green infrastructure’.

Run by the Landscape Institute, the mayor of London and the Garden Museum, with the AJ as media partner, the contest received 170 entries from around the world including proposals from the USA, China, Brazil, Egypt, India and Israel.

The open ideas contest was inspired by the regeneration of New York’s High Line – a public park created on a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure in the heart of Manhattan.

Featuring known names such as Fletcher Priest and Hassell and a gaggle of newcomers, the 20-strong shortlist was selected by a panel of experts including Ian Houlston of LDA Design,  Robin Buckle of Transport for London and Jamie Dean from Design for London at the Greater London Authority.

The winner will receive £2,500 and the runner-up £500.

Houlston said: ‘The judges were impressed by the quality of the entries which ranged from low-key interventions that can be rolled out across the city to high-impact projects addressing a specific site-based issue. Several entrants tackled similar problems.

‘However, we were encouraged by the diversity of the proposed solutions, as well as the creative and high-quality methods by which ideas were presented.’

He added: ‘Entrants had clearly thought carefully about how green infrastructure can be used to address challenges and enhance life in London, while creating space for nature and improving the capacity for urban areas to respond to the challenges of a changing climate.

‘The shortlist represents what the judges felt were the boldest and most inspiring ideas, although the competition was fierce and the standard high.’

Dean said: ‘The range of submissions was impressive, many standing out for their inherent simplicity, their clarity of communications or their scientific underpinning.

‘For me, they were at their most successful when considered alongside the cultures of a given place.’

The winners will be announced by London mayor Boris Johnson as part of a High Line Symposium at the Garden Museum from 5-8 October.


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