UPDATE (4 JUNE): Finalists for the Wolfson Economics Prize revealed
The 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize has today unveiled a shortlist of five finalists. The shortlisted entries, though all very different from each other, provide valuable ideas about how best to deliver a new garden city which is visionary, economically viable and popular.
Details of the finalists and their entries are set out below. The finalists are now being challenged to refine their submissions in the second round of the completion. Finalists will be given until 11 August to develop and resubmit their entries, from which the Judges will choose an overall winner. The winner will receive £250,000.
Members of the Press can find a press release on the finalists' announcement here, and accompanying images can be found here. Press enquiries about the Prize can be directed to John Higginson at Westbourne Communications Ltd, 07920 701 693.
The five finalists are:
Highly Commended Entries
The Judges also Highly Commended four further entries which scored highly. Each of these entries receives a prize of £1,000.
Light Bulb prize winners
For the first time, Lord Wolfson has offered additional ‘Light Bulb’ prizes which recognise outstanding contributions to specific aspects of delivering a new garden city; each ‘Light Bulb’ prize wins £1,000 and a special ‘Light Bulb’ lamp trophy. The Judges have also selected the following five entries for Light Bulb prizes, and extracts from these entries have been published here. The Light Bulb prize winners were:
- Ben Clark for his idea of crowd-funding a new city via the internet. A number of entries identified this opportunity, mentioning projects like a bridge in Rotterdam or a skyscraper in Columbia that had been funded this way. Peer-to-peer lending (ie debt rather than equity funding) was also mentioned. But Ben’s submission provided the best survey. Ben is an architect.
- Henry Cleary and Andrew Wells for their specific ideas on how to hold a referendum to test local support for a garden city proposal, including details of eligibility criteria and the alternatives that voters should be offered. It suggests a process to go through before holding that referendum, suggests who should be eligible (including, crucially, those who have pre-registered an interest in living in the new development) and how the voters should be presented with a range of alternatives to choose from which don’t include ‘do nothing’. Henry and Andrew are consultants who formerly worked as civil servants at the Department for Communities and Local Government.
- Martin Hewes for his proposal that older/retired people should form the core pioneer population for the new garden city.This paper sets out the demographic issues arising from an ageing population and argues that we need to make a much better housing and community offer to older people to reduce the risks of isolation and ill health in old age. This entry draws attention to the potential for garden cities to solve the housing problems of more than the young ‘pioneer’ first time buyer usually seen as the typical new town dweller. Martin is an economic consultant and forecaster, primarily in the construction industry.
- Robbie Kerr and James Russell Stoneham for their comprehensive and clear ideas on using bond financing mechanisms to fund a whole new city. Although bond finance is already used by a number of developers, this submission argues convincingly and concisely for bond finance split into construction and infrastructure bonds, and identifies the potential role that Islamic finance could play. Robbie is an architect, and James is a trainee solicitor.
- Lachlan Robertson MRTPI, for a range of convincing ideas on protecting the interests of affected residents, including ‘property bond’ style mechanisms (such as those proposed for campaigners affected by HS2) which guarantee property prices; extra pensions linked to the value of the city; a menu of ideas on mitigating environmental, amenity and privacy concerns that go well beyond the existing planning system; and a further menu of ways to record and celebrate the area’s heritage to prevent it being ‘lost’. Lachlan is a town planner and currently works at land and property firm Smiths Gore.
Other Interesting Entries
The Judges also decided to award £50 each to the three children who entered the Prize. In addition, the judges awarded £500 to St Antony’s School, London, for the entries from its Year 6 Art Design and Technology Class, inspired by their teacher Oliver Evelyn-Rahr. Click on the icons below to view these entries.
|Ewan Frearson aged 6 from Letchworth Garden City (the youngest ever entrant to the Prize)||Michael Fennell aged 12 from London||Louis Upsall aged 12 from Wiltshire||St Antony’s School, London.|
About the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014
The case for garden cities is overwhelming with the current housing situation in the UK creating hardship and inequality for millions of people. But finding an innovative way to build communities that truly provide for and support their residents is not simple to achieve. The 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize therefore seeks to develop an answer to the question of how to bring about a new garden city.
The second Wolfson Economics Prize, launched on 14th November 2013, will be awarded to the entrant who offers the best answer to the question “How would you deliver a new Garden City which is visionary, economically viable, and popular?” The deadline for entries was 3 March 2014 and 279 entries were received.
Entrants were strongly advised to structure their submissions to cover the three closely interrelated criteria identified in the Prize question: vision, economic viability (and thus governance) and popularity. These three criteria are laid out in greater detail in the Prospectus.
Entrants were asked to explore the Prize question in detail in a submission of up to 10,000 words (plus a Non-Technical Summary of 1,000 words). Entrants were able to include charts, maps, tables, etc, as well as Appendices containing ancillary material.
Two rounds of entry submissions will take place, a primary round and a secondary round. The primary round was open to all entrants - the Prize judges have subsequently reviewed these submissions and drawn up a shortlist of entrants invited to elaborate on their primary submission with a secondary submission.
The Judges will read each of the secondary submissions and decide the winning entrant from among those submissions on merit. The overall winner will receive the £250,000 prize. Runner-up prizes of £10,000 will be awarded to entrants who submitted secondary submissions but did not win the overall prize.
Judges also had the discretion to award Additional Prizes ("Light Bulb Prizes") from a fund of £10,000 to recognise entrants whose submissions address aspects of the Prize Question in particularly innovative, creative or otherwise outstanding ways.
The judges are:
(Chair of the Judges) Trevor Osborne - Chief Executive, The Trevor Osborne Property Group
Professor Denise Bower - Director of the Engineering Project Academy at the University of Leeds
David Cowans - Group Chief Executive, Places for People
Pascal Mittermaier - Director of Sustainability EMEA and Project Director, Elephant & Castle Regeneration Lend Lease
Tony Pidgley CBE - Chairman, The Berkeley Group
More information about the judges can be found in the Prospectus.
Conference event on 28 January 2014
The Wolfson Economics Prize and The Building Centre held a conference on 28th January exploring the issues raised by the Prize in more detail. The entire event is available to listen to here, as well as copies of the speakers' slides.