London mayor seeks 'High Line' designer

Mayor, Landscape Institute and Garden Museum launch contest inspired by New York's linear park.

Super-modern designs for a host of London's public spaces are to be drawn up as part of a major new competition inspired by New York's High Line linear park.

London mayor Boris Johnson teamed up with the Landscape Institute and Garden Museum last week to challenge designers to push their creativity to new limits to forge imaginative new green spaces in the capital.

The contest, A High Line for London - Green Infrastructure Ideas Competition for a New London Landscape, was inspired by the creative force behind one of the world's most striking parks. The first section of the High Line, built on the site of a disused raised railway, was opened in 2009.

The new competition is timed to coincide with a High Line Symposium at the Garden Museum on 5-8 October. This will include events on green infrastructure such as a talk by garden designer Piet Oudolf, and the launch of the London mayor's All London Green Grid, a planned integrated network of open spaces, rivers and other waterways.

"We are not seeking a replica of the High Line," said a spokeswoman for the competition organisers. "We want proposals that similarly engage communities with green infrastructure - a network of open spaces including features such as green roofs that provide benefits such as flood management, urban cooling and green transport links, as well as ecological connectivity."

She added: "The High Line has transcended the commonly accepted role of urban parks to become one of the world's most popular landmarks."

Judges, including the High Line founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond and landscape architects Kim Wilkie and Johanna Gibbons, will shortlist 20 entries, with designers able to choose their proposed site. The winner will receive £2,500.


The High Line

New York's High Line public park was built on an historic freight rail line elevated above Manhattan's West Side. It is owned by the City of New York and maintained and operated by Friends of The High Line, working with the city's parks and recreation team.

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