High Weald

What should the London City Region look like in 20 years?The Prize Logo 1

Covid-19 is changing the way our country looks and feels. Our communities and neighbourhoods look different now, with rainbows in windows, more people walking and ideas bubbling across the country to use this crisis as an opportunity to make life better.

That’s why the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), London City Region’s National Parks, National Park City, other Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Culture Declares Emergency and Ordnance Survey have come together to launch the Prize to Transform the Future.

The Prize is a bold and exciting opportunity for optimists to help visualise a hopeful and possible future for the London City Region region by sharing ideas to make our lives and landscapes greener, healthier, more beautiful and wilder.

What might the London City Region look like 20 years from now? Now imagine what it could and should look like. What if it was radically greener, healthier, wilder and more beautiful? What would it look like? What would it be like?

The Prize to Transform the Future is an open call is open to artists, architects, cartographers, imagineers, optimists, realists, landscape architects, master planners, conservationists, graphic designers, farmers, film-makers, ecologists, illustrators, geographers, students, politicians, professionals, writers, modellers, pensioners, weavers, idealists and bankers. Anyone in fact.

Judges include Surrey based artists Ackroyd & Harvey, Hampshire based landscape architect Merrick Denton-Thompson, London based climate change lawyer and activist Farhana Yamin, Somerset nature conservationist Mya-Rose Craig and London based adventurer Dwayne Fields with many more to be announced from across different parts of the region and with different interests.

Jason Lavender, co-Director of the High Weald AONB Partnership, said: “The High Weald is the cultural and ecological footprint of the people who have lived and worked here over thousands of years; a productive landscape home to an army of farmers, growers, food and drink producers and working woodlands. At a time when many are finding their connection with nature more important than ever, The Prize to Transform the Future is an exciting opportunity to imagine how the interaction between people and landscape might be nurtured for future generations."

Dan Raven-Ellison, founder of the London National Park City, said “I hope lots of people will be inspired to rise to this challenge. This may not be a financial prize, but the potential reward is something much greater, deeper and longer lasting than that. We are currently facing a number of urgent wake up calls. Our health, our ecology and our climate are all entwined in states of emergency that threaten our lives and livelihoods. We need bold and positive visions that we can get behind to restore our futures and make life better for ourselves and future generations.”

Heather Ackroyd said “The arts have a tradition of sparking cultural change and ‘speaking differently’: disrupting the status quo and creating emergent space for new ideas to engage people at an imaginative level. Here, the vision to transform the future is all about imaginatively creating those wilder and greener spaces and putting ecology and nature right at the centre of the bigger cultural landscape.”

Join the #PrizeToTransformTheFuture conversation and for more information visit the website. Good luck!