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Sheffield student bags Foster travelling fund

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Sheffield School of Architecture student Charles Palmer has been handed the 2015 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship

Palmer won the £6,000 award for his proposal, Cycling Megacities, which will explore the different challenges posed to urban design by cycling.

He plans to carry out research in Mexico City, Lagos, Dhaka and Shenzen, exploring how policies, investment, and campaigns are transforming urban public space.

Palmer was chosen by a jury which included Norman Foster, Spencer de Grey, Roger Ridsdill, and Narinder Sagoo of Foster + Partners, RIBA president Stephen Hodder, Hopkins Architects co-founder Patty Hopkins, and RIBA vice president international Peter Oborn.

During the debate, the jury also highly commended ‘Extreme Environments’ by Teodora Todorova of the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia. Teodora will receive a camera as a prize for her proposal to study some of the world’s driest, wettest and coldest regions. 

Foster, said: ‘Once again, the high standard of scholarship entries led to a lively and enjoyable debate. I congratulate Charles Palmer on this result – the jury felt this was an important subject, with an interesting focus on these rapidly expanding cities, and we were interested in the potential lessons that this research could offer for UK policy.

We were interested in the lessons this research could offer for UK policy

‘Any planning initiatives will fail if we don’t address the social drivers behind people’s transport choices, therefore his proposal to examine the changing status of the bicycle in these different cities is particularly worthwhile.’

Hodder, added: ‘I am delighted that the 2015 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship award will help explore the influence of cycling and its impact on the shaping of urban public space across the world.

‘As a keen cyclist, I am conscious that it is an issue which is not being dealt with as well as it should be in the UK, and was pleased to see that the intention of this research is to inform the debate and guide UK policy.’

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