Winning design unveiled for first new garden city of the 21st Century

The winner of an international design competition to design the first new garden city of the 21st Century and the largest of the NHS’s 10 Healthy New Towns has been announced.

HALO - a model for growing a healthy infrastructure – has been revealed as the winner at the annual Landscape Institute conference, Valuing Landscape 2018.

The competition which was launched by the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and NHS England back in March invited teams to come up with creative and inspiring ideas to help shape the landscape for the development.

The winning team is made up of Bradley Murphy Design and the project was delivered in collaboration with John Thompson Partnership, Peter Brett Associates and Sebastien Boyesen. 

HALO stands for Hives, Arcs, Links and Organics aims to encourage residents to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives by bringing healthy design to their doorsteps.

In the view of the judges, HALO demonstrated such thorough practicality of thinking that the concept fulfilled exactly what they had hoped for: a design that was radical, but realisable.  The panel was also excited by its possibilities, particularly because the design reflected the founder of the garden city movement, Ebenezer Howard’s concept of the best of town and country life.

The design is made up of four key interventions to the landscape that will overlay Ebbsfleet like a web:

  • Connecting people to places and to each other through activity hubs that foster social and community engagement
  • Addressing the fragmentation of landscape and habitats via a ‘people highway’ that provides uninterrupted access to nature
  • Exploring accessibility issues and the unique challenges the site presents using a green-grid network for community and wildlife movement
  • Solving the lack of sources of healthy food with focal points for food production and habitat creation

Dan Cook, chief executive of the Landscape Institute, said: “When you launch a competition of this kind you are never quite sure what response you are going to get. The judges were impressed by the standard of entries and the innovative thinking that has been shown. HALO’s winning design stood out for the clarity, and the collaboration of the multidisciplinary team bringing together the best aspects of living in London with those of living in Kent, the Garden of England.”

The Ebbsfleet Design Challenge was judged by an expert panel of 10 judges including Ebbsfleet Development Corporation chair Michael Cassidy, chairman of Berkeley Group Tony Pidgley and Christine Clarke, head of portfolio management at Land Securities.

Kevin Mcgeough, director of Ebbsfleet Garden City, added: “The exciting and inspiring proposals have exceeded our expectations.  We have been encouraged by the innovations illustrated and the wide variety of approaches explored by the entrants.  The proposed solutions have helped to reinforce the importance of landscape design and placemaking in achieving a successful and sustainable Garden City, and have set the benchmark for our delivery for the next 20 years.”

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