Reclaiming our streets

Nick Myall
Tuesday 30 Jan 2018

WAN’s Urban Challenge 2018 aims to provide the vision of our streets in the future

Within the next decade or so, city streets will be redefined by two powerful events, the advent of autonomous vehicles and an increasing awareness of the health risks from vehicle pollution. Self-driving technology enables cities to fundamentally reimagine their streets, by reducing the amount of road and parking space devoted to privately owned cars, shared self-driving fleets promise to return city streets to a time when they were an asset to communities.   

Following the success of last year’s campaign, and in partnership with the NLA, the WAN Urban Challenge sets out to tackle the issues at hand, ensuring that good design is at the heart of the solution that cities will need.

Commenting on the second WAN Urban Challenge Peter Murray, Chairman, NLA said:

"I am delighted to be a part of the WAN Urban Challenge for its second year, this year's focus - Reclaiming the Streets which chimes with the greater focus on Active Travel in London - the coordination of walking, cycling and public transport strategies - as well as with the Mayor’s Healthy Streets programme. It is encouraging that there is a growing understanding that streets are a city's most important public spaces and should no longer be dominated by the automobile, but should be seen as places for people”   


This competition is open to all design firms (architects, engineers, urban designers, landscape architects) Entries can be either a concept or a case study in a variety of contexts of urban design:   

  • Retrofitting (streets, public squares)
  • Placemaking (public spaces, community, heritage, tourism, social)
  • Markets
  • Entertainment (cinemas, bars, restaurants)
  • Transport (cycle schemes, transit hubs, pedestrian schemes, street furniture, Hyperloop)
  • Security
  • Technology (traffic management, augmented reality in retail, drone delivery, GIS)
  • Pollution (a solution promoting clean air)
  • Retail (street food/vendors)
  • Utilities (water, refuse)
  • Flood resilience
  • Urban vertical farms   


WAN’s Urban Challenge will provide firms with an unrivalled opportunity to showcase their ideas and designs to city leaders.   

In May 2018, four winners will join the Urban Task Force for a full day of high-level working groups and presentations with industry leaders. The groups' findings will be presented to an influential audience of decision-makers for WAN's Reclaiming the Streets Symposium.   

The global ideas competition is now open for entries, FULL DETAILS HERE   

Deadline for entries: 29 March 2018

Key Facts:

United Kingdom
Commercial Offices Residential

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team