Entries open on Friday 9 April for the Open City Stewardship Awards, a new national awards programme celebrating the outstanding long-term strategic care of existing buildings, infrastructure, and open spaces

Image © Phineas Harper, Open City

In partnership with Construction Declares, Open City, the charity behind the Open House festival, has announced a new nationwide awards programme celebrating the under-celebrated work of urban stewardship.

While many awards already endorse exciting new developments, few acknowledge the critical work of repairing, refurbishing, and maintaining them. Comprising five categories, the Open City Stewardship Awards will champion environmental and social stewardship across different scales and sectors, highlighting outstanding practice in the care and improvement of existing buildings, infrastructure, and landscapes.

Open City argues that long-term care of buildings and public spaces is the most important but least celebrated aspect of contemporary city-making.

‘As the need to reduce carbon emissions challenges all urban professions, outstanding urban stewardship is increasingly essential for confronting climate change and cultivating thriving communities,’ said Rhea Martin, who leads the Open City Stewardship Awards.

‘Architecture remains one of the most carbon-intensive sectors in the economy,’ said Maria Smith, head of sustainability at Buro Happold and a member of Construction Declares. ‘The Stewardship Awards will celebrate those who are leading the change we need to see in effectively confronting the climate emergency while strengthening communities across the country.’

Entries will be open to teams showing creative and responsible leadership in the development and management of existing buildings and public spaces, as well as teams bringing forward new projects with ambitious long-term community and ecological stewardship strategies. Shortlisted projects will appear in a curatorial strand exploring the theme of Stewardship during the 2021 Open House Festival, taking place on 4-5 September.

Entries for the awards open on Friday 9 April. For more information, visit open-city.org.uk.

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