The winners of Rethink: 2025, an international design competition that is hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA), were recently announced. According to the RIBA Journal, this competition was “unexpected and unprecedented … launched in the middle of the global coronavirus lockdown”. The objective was for entrants to generate ideas and imagine what everyday life in cities and towns could be like by 2025.
The rules furthermore stipulated that entries should be positive about city life, practical as well as clearly intelligible and address sustainability at the same time. The submissions of architects and students were awarded in three categories, namely street, city and building and a winner for each category was chosen.
In the category street the winner was PeopleMatter.’s project called Streets Are Made for Walking. This project capitalises and builds on how the pandemic altered how we use highway streets now that less commuting takes place and more people switched to healthier modes of transport, such as cycling and walking. The project plans to facilitate changes that will recreate streets as public spaces for “cleaner, greener, safer and happier” living.
Streets Are Made for Walking on YouTube:
In the category city the winning project, called Greater London Agriculture, wants to bring agroecology (sustainable farming that works with nature) to turn the city into a collection of varied food-producing spaces. One of the reasons behind this project is to prevent pandemics such as Covid-19 by making it possible for the public to live closer to food production.
Greater London Agriculture on YouTube:
In the category building the winning project, Get Everyone In, is also capitalising on how the pandemic enabled a work-from-home culture that left many offices empty. This project provides detailed plans on how these empty spaces can be utilised for healthcare services and housing.
Get Everyone In on YouTube: