The scheme is one of very few design competitions within the east London Olympic Park, and is a massive opportunity for smaller firms to showcase their work during the Games.
The shortlist comes as welcome news after it was announced recently that up-and-coming firms will have little chance to get involved in some of the smaller infrastructure projects ( Blow to small practices as Olympic work goes to contractors ).
The scheme is a 3km public walkway called the Greenway, which will run from Hackney's Victoria Park to West Ham. The five shortlisted teams will be invited to a site visit by members of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) design team, and will then be interviewed and asked to discuss their designs.
ODA design director Alison Nimmo said: 'We have been extremely pleased with the level of interest for this important project, particularly from small niche design practices.
'This is an important project to revitalise a vital link in the neglected public spaces in and around the Olympic Park area. It will give the right designer the opportunity to use the creativity and imagination to support the regeneration in this area of London.'
The first section of the pathway will be open to the public in 2008, with full completion expected in 2010.