Three teams of students have won cash prizes for their inspired ideas.

The competition

The vision for a new city at Ebbsfleet, Kent is ambitious and exciting. 15,000 new homes, 30,000 jobs and seven new parks.

In spring 2018, the Landscape Institute held an international design competition to find bold new design ideas for Ebbsfleet Garden City. Landscape-led teams from across the world took part.

There were two categories: one for professionals working in landscape and related fields, and one for students. On 4 July 2018, the winners of the student competition were announced.

Winner – Park Pavilions (£2,000 cash prize)


  • Luke Szokalski – Landscape Architecture MA, Leeds Beckett University
  • Robert Hilton – Landscape Architecture MA, Leeds Beckett University

Park Pavilions challenges traditional urban planning by prioritising experience over logistics. This alternative take on the ‘pavilion’ serves the community and complements the Ebbsfleet landscape.

Ebbsfleet’s chalk cliffs and the water bodies of Eastern Quarry are important natural characteristics. These not only promote the dramatic landscape of Ebbsfleet, but offer opportunities to enhance the wellbeing of the users. The study identified four public services that could benefit from an improved natural place setting: the health centre, community centre, primary school and library.

Relocating the health centre to a more natural, tranquil place setting, for example, can have a positive impact on patients mental health and wellbeing. While connecting the primary school to the bordering wetlands can engage children with natural ecosystems from an early age.

Runner-up – Ebbsfleet Backyard Trail (£1,000 cash prize)


  • Zongyuan Li – 2nd year MA in Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield
  • Yusha Zhou – 1st year MA in Landscape Studies, University of Sheffield

The Backyard Trail is a combined pedestrian and cycling route designed to give Ebbsfleet a ‘healthy circulation’. The route, which starts from Ebbsfleet International station so as to attract people straight off the train, offers visitors and residents a one-day walkable trail.

Circulating all five areas of Ebbsfleet, the 15-mile route takes in 22 sight spots, three urban villages and key natural characteristics, such as the chalk cliffs, the waterfront, marsh fields and tunnels. It also connects to the proposed Ebbsfleet Garden City development, with secondary pathways connecting bus stops and exits to the town, and opportunities to rent public bikes en route.

There is even an option for those who simply want to enjoy the dramatic landscape: take the train. In this proposal, the disused railway track is converted for entertainment, allowing visitors to ride through the historic tunnel and admire the chalk cliffs.

Highly Commended – Self-Healing City (£500 cash prize)


  • Catrina Wai Chu Chan – Final year student, MA in Landscape Architecture, University of Gloucestershire
  • Melody Suen Chan – Final year student, MA in Landscape Architecture, University of Gloucestershire
  • Michelle Yuen Yan Ho – Final year student, MA in Landscape Architecture, University of Gloucestershire

Self-healing is a process of recovery motivated and directed by individuals themselves. The Self-healing City is designed to allow residents to activate and accelerate this process through its passive spatial setting.

The project identifies the three interrelated dimensions of wellbeing as: nutrition (edible landscape); physical activity (playscape); and mental wellbeing (art therapy). This informs its approach to spatial planning. One area is designated as an edible community garden, another – Chalk Quarry Park – is to be rehabilitated to offer active recreation for all ages, from rock climbing to camping. There is also an art and cultural park.

In addition, the Self healing city aims to re-activate the potentialities of the ecosystem. In order to sustain the local environment, remediation and environmental design is planned incuding SUDs, tidal resilient design, food waste system and phytoremediation.