Classical & Archaeological Studies

'Dust to Dust' urban design competition

12 April 2018

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Ideas for the future design and configuration of cities are being sought for a competition promoting greater sustainability in urban environments, as part of Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC) project organised by Dr Benjamin Vis, Research Fellow in the Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies .

'Dust to Dust: Redesigning Urban Life in Healthy Soils' is an urban design competition in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which include zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.

Currently 98% of cultivable land on earth is being farmed and two thirds of the world's soils are suffering degradation. The continued encroachment onto, and transformation of, soils resulting from urban sprawl will significantly impact the sustainability and resilience of urban life. As such, ideas are invited for urban designs, planning approaches, and tangible interventions that could be implemented in real-life cases of urban planning and development with successful designs promoting a close relationship between urban life and soil ecosystem services.

From the ideas received, the best will be invited to a charrette (an intensive design workshop) held at the Prince's Foundation, London on 16-18 July 2018. Selected teams will be invited to work with the researchers who are organising the competition and the curating team.

The aim is to exhibit the best ideas at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia to inform and inspire greater sustainability in the future development of cities as well as how we lead urban lives.

Benjamin said they look forward to receiving ideas 'outside the box'.  The competition arises from his work on ancient Maya urban landscapes as a Research Fellow in Digital Humanities and Digital Heritage for the Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC).

To compete for a place, teams should apply by developing and submitting outline ideas by midnight on Wednesday 9 May 2018.

For more information about the competition, and to submit outline ideas, please visit the Dust to Dust website:

Or more information, contact

Classical & Archaeological Studies, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827159 or contact Classical & Archaeological Studies

Last Updated: 19/12/2013