Finalists for the 2022 European Prize for Urban Public Space announced

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The European Prize for Urban Public Space is a biennial award presented by the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, or Contemporary Culture Centre of Barcelona (CCCB), which has announced the selected works and the finalists in the 11th edition of the prize. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held at CCCB on 14 and 15 November 2022.

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Finalists for the 2022 European Prize for Urban Public Space announced
Public space is a key theme of Livegreenblog, and so we have been curiously awaiting the shortlist of the finalists for the eleventh European Prize for Urban Public Space. Following a gap due to the pandemic, as the 2020 edition did not take place, the competition has received a record-breaking number of entries: 326 projects from 35 countries, confirming the great significance and importance of public space in the development of cities, today and in the future. 
Over its history, the prize has stood out for its ability to offer a unique perspective on European cities, as a key space for discussing the challenges of urban public space in collaboration with architectural, academic and cultural experts and institutions from all over Europe.
In the first round, the jury of the 2022 edition, presided over by agricultural engineer and landscape designer Teresa Galí-Izard (Barcelona/Zurich) and composed of critic and architecture historian Hans Ibelings (Amsterdam/Montreal), anthropologist and heat resilience expert Eleni Myrivili (Athens), architecture historian, curator and publisher Andreas Ruby (Basel), strategist Paloma Strelitz, who is a creative director with a special focus on cities, culture and technology (London), and architect Špela Videčnik (Ljubljana), selected a longlist of 25 projects considered valid, from which it has now chosen the 5 finalists who will be competing for the first prize. The winner will be announced during an awards ceremony to be held at CCCB on 14 and 15 November 2022.
The jury examined new projects, restorations and improvements of public space completed between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2021 within the geographic confines of the Council of Europe. One factor of great importance in their assessment is the impact of urban transformation in the specific context and its impact on collective life, from a cultural, social and environmental point of view. 
The five finalists, which we will be examining in greater detail in the weeks to come, are, in alphabetical order: Catharijnesingel, 2020, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, by studio OKRA landschapsarchitec, which involves reclamation of Catharijnesingel canal, eliminating the vehicle traffic on the road and bringing back the water to create a new public space for the city which is accessible to cyclists and pedestrians. FLOW, 2021, in Brussels, Belgium, by POOL IS COOL and Decoratelier Jozef Wouters, the first open-air swimming pool to be built in Brussels in forty years, designed and built with the participation of fifty young people. While Hage, 2021, in Lund, Sweden, is a project by Brendeland & Kristoffersen architects, Price & Myers developing a public space on the properties owned by Lund Cathedral as an alternative to the logic of rapid urbanisation in its surroundings. The Saint Sernin Project completed in 2020 in Toulouse, France by Joan Busquets, Pieter-Jan Versluys and BAU restores the importance of the city’s historic urban fabric by eliminating vehicular traffic. "Sporta pils dārzi" is an urban community garden created in 2021 in Riga, Latvia by Artilērijas dārzi, the result of a popular initiative to recover an abandoned lot and create a new typology of public space.
The longlist is also very interesting, and includes a number of projects we have already covered in these pages, such as the restoration of the Gare Maritime in Brussels by Neutelings Riedijk or the cycle track by Batlle i Roig in Esplugues de Llobregat, Spain (link). One of the selected projects to be included, like the others, in the archives of the European Prize for Urban Public Space is the restoration of Koliivschyny Square in Lviv, Ukraine by Oleksandr Hutsuliak, Anastasia Hapanovych and Olha Kryvoruchko, producing both a memorial and an everyday meeting-place. 

Christiane Bürklein

European Prize for Urban Public Space 2022, 11th edition
Images: see captions