Cross-disciplinary team wins AILA ideas competition with community-empowering scheme

A cross-disciplinary team has won the Remaking Lost Connections ideas competition organized by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), which was convened to “generate ideas and ramp up the public dialogue on how Canberra can confront the seemingly intractable environmental and social impacts of climate change.”

AILA ACT president Gay Williamson said, “The purpose of this competition is to generate ideas and ramp up the public dialogue on how Canberra can confront the seemingly intractable environmental and social impacts of climate change.”

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Entrants were “encouraged to imaginatively retell the Canberra story” and generate ideas that “inspire new paradigms about the role of the urban landscape in Canberra.”

The winning team comprises landscape architects Jennie Curtis and Barbara Payne, university student Chris Curtis, social scientist Carolyn Hendriks and Lyneham High students Sophie and Sam Heinsohn.

Their entry, titled “Stomping Grounds,” is a scheme for engaging communities in the planning of their own public spaces.

“Stomping Grounds is an idea about letting go, just a little, of the control for our public spaces so that many people including marginalized groups can shape and share what happens in public spaces near them,” said Curtin.

Jury chair Adrian McGregor said, “Stomping Grounds is a big idea about empowering people to get involved in the planning of their own local parks and build stronger communities in Canberra. The idea focuses on giving people the chance to take ownership of the public landscape.”

The winners were awarded $10,000 in prize money, with each commended entry received $2,500. Commendations were awarded to “Connection through Custodianship” by Phoebe Gordon and Dom Galloway and “Critters to the Lake” by Gweneth Leigh, Bronwen Jones and Aarthi Ayyar-Biddle.

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