UPDATED: Read the Frequently Asked Questions 20 July 2020 at the end of this page

We have seen unprecedented change in the way we live due to the impact of COVID-19 across the world bringing many countries to a standstill. The virus has made people and communities realise the value open space including streets, parks, rivers. These spaces in between buildings offer the greatest opportunity to reimagine how we live and move in our cities. As cities are now reopening and planning to make temporary and long-term changes providing the opportunity to create, test and provide solutions for how we live in our communities, towns and cities.

World Landscape Architecture (WLA)  is proud to organise this international student ideas competition to provide the opportunity for students to reimagine the spaces in between buildings and address the various issues of COVID-19 and to develop ideas that provide safe, inclusive, and equitable spaces for everyone.

The competition challenge is to redesign an area in a fictional city and develop ideas and solutions that encompass the following:

  • Spaces for the residents and visitors (including all stakeholders – residents, workers, tourists, etc)
  • Provide movement and transport for people.
  • Develop ideas that address economic, environmental, and social issues.
  • Retain all buildings and maintain the building setback (yellow dashed line).
  • Only design the area within the “Design Competition Boundary” shown on the base plan.

Entrants should review the fictional city information provided and use this as the basis informing your process and design.


  • Entrant/s must be a student currently enrolled or graduated in the past year from a landscape architecture, urban design or associated course (e.g. landscape urbanism, urban planning)
  • Teams can enter the competition but must have no more than 4 entrants.

Competition Information

Entrants will be supplied with a 2D CAD plan that includes the building (envelope, height and use), streets, and trees and also fictional city information.


We are fortunate to have competition jury with a wide range of professional experience from across the world.

  • Angus Bruce – Head of Landscape Architecture, HASSELL, London, UK
  • Anne Clark – Studio – MLA, Los Angeles, USA
  • Conor O’Shea – Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Elizabeth J Kennedy – Principal at EKLA, New York, USA
  • Jason Ho – Founder of Mapping Workshop, China
  • Sophie Thompson – Director, LDA Design, London, UK
  • Stephen Buckle – Studio Director, ASPECT Studios, Shanghai, China


The jury will assess the designs based on the following criteria

  • Conceptual Design and Innovation (overall concept and key principles)
  • Feasibility (can the ideas be reasonably achieved)
  • Presentation & Supporting Information (how the design was presented and explained)

Competition Prizes

Winner – $500AUD, Certificate and featured on WLA website

Runner Up – $200AUD, Certificate and featured on WLA website

The jury may award one Winner, one Runner up and honourable mentions. The number of entries shortlisted will be determined based on the percentage of number of entries.

Entry Fee:  $25AUD per entry (individual or team is same fee)

Limit of Entries: The number of entries will be limited to 200 maximum.


Registration Deadline: CLOSED August 8, 2020  (11:59am Sydney, Australia – EST Time)

Submission Deadline: August 15, 2020 (11:59am Sydney, Australia – EST Time)
Please remember to determine the deadline time in your time zone.  Late entries will not be accepted.

Shortlist announced on September 8, 2020
Winners announced on September 15, 2020


The submission shall include a 3 page (A3/11 x 17) in one combined pdf file in LANDSCAPE ORIENTATION

  • The first page should be a maximum of 500 words of text supporting your design. No images should be on this page.
  • The following two pages should include at least one plan and then any supporting images (not limited to sections, perspectives, diagrams, etc)
  • All pages should have the entry number clearly show at a minimum of 14pt in the bottom left corner. The entrant name or school should not appear anywhere on the entry (text or images). 
  • The pdf file submission should not exceed 10Mb (it only needs to be exported at screen resolution as they will not be printed)

Submit via email to

The email contents should include the following:
Email Subject:  Entry Number – Design Concept Name
Submission Name: (provide a name for your design)
Entrant Number: (this is the 5-digit number shown on your email order/invoice)
Entrants Name/s:
Entrant School:
Graduation Year or Expected Graduation Year:

Submission Email attachments should include:

  • Entrant/s Student ID’s showing school and year in jpg or pdf format
  • Entry Submission PDF file (no larger than 10Mb) (all pages in one pdf) the name of the file should by Entrant Number_Submission Name.pdf

Any questions should be emailed to

Competition Disclaimer
This is an ideas competition and will not eventuate into an implemented design or contract for further services.

Frequently Asked Questions 20 July 2020

What is my entry number?
Your entry number is the order number you received in the email and invoice. It will be a 5-digit number (XXXXX) starting with a 5 

When will I receive the competition information in the mail?
You will not receive any information by mail. The information for the competition is all digital and the order email has a download link for all the files and information you need for the competition.

Can I move, change, demolish or alter the buildings?
As stated above “Retain all buildings”. You are not able to make any changes to the buildings. This is a competition about designing the spaces between the buildings.

Can I add buildings, structures, pavilions?
Yes, you can add buildings, structures and pavilions, but it must be in the spaces between the buildings and not outside the building setback (not on the road side).

What is the building setback?
This is the setback from the street edge for the building envelope or line. You cannot build outside of the building setback. That is you cannot build anything on the road, footpath/sidewalk, etc on the street side of the building setback.

Is it necessary to design the form of the existing building in detail?
No, you do not have to design the buildings. . However, this competition is about designing the spaces between the buildings. (i.e. on the ground).

Is it allowed to design cantilevered platforms or add structures to the rooftops?
No, the you cannot change or attach anything to the existing buildings

Does this train station connect inside or outside the city? 
The train station is a subway station for travel within the city.

What is the function of that social housing?
Social Housing (Public housing) is a form of housing owned and managed by a government authority or non-profit organisation that provides affordable housing. For more information refer to

Is this city a populous city or a sparsely populated city?
Please refer to the fictional city data provided.

Can we  move the car parking space?
Yes, you can move the parking space.

The competition is to design the spaces between the buildings. You are free to rearrange any non-building element (road, parking, trees, etc) within the Design Competition Boundary(the area shown in orange below)

Click to enlarge

About Damian Holmes 3339 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at