The contest is supported by London Mayor, Boris Johnson and the London Borough of Newham where the docks are located.
The Royal Docks are comprised of the Royal Albert Dock, Royal Victoria Dock and King George V Dock which together make up the largest enclosed docks in the world with a water area approaching 90ha.
While redundant docks such as Canary Wharf and the Albert Dock have been regeneration success stories, the water space itself is usually left untouched. Johnson is preparing to seek a development partner to deliver a floating village at the western end of Royal Victoria Dock.
They also offer the potential to provide a range of functions including water activities, parkland and development space, to enhance ecosystems, improve connections between land and water and food production.
The judges are looking for ways of incorporating green infrastructure and water sensitive design into any future development which will need to look at ways of making the area more resilient against environmental, social and economic challenges.
The judging panel includes LI president Sue Illman, who said: "We hope this competition will help us to ask questions and promote debate about how we should plan and manage more ‘liveable’ cities and urban centres in the future.
"We want the competition to demonstrate how a landscape-led approach to design can transform the public realm – making cities more prosperous and resilient. Entrants need to embrace green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design and demonstrate how they can help transform the area into a better place to live and work."
Group techical director of Ecobuild Thomas Lane, Deputy Mayor of London, respsonsible for housing, land and property, Peter Barbalov, Farrells partner Victora Thornton, London Open City chief executive Colm Lacey and the head of regeneration at Newham Council will also be judges.
Johnson said: "London’s Royal Docks, historically the throbbing arteries of UK trade and commerce, present a huge opportunity which I’m determined to capitalise on. My vision is to develop a world class innovation and business district, creating local jobs, homes and economic growth. On the docks we’re already taking great strides to achieve this. On the water, with some imagination and creativity, the possibilities are endless."
The top 20 designs will be exhibited at Ecobuild, held between 4 and 6 of March at the Excel Centre on Royal Victoria Dock and winners will also be announced at the show.
The deadline for submissions is 6 January at 5pm at the Landscape Institute headquarters in central London, which will be closed for deliveries between Christmas and New Year.
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