UCL News


Vision of eco-city wins Craig Patterson Writing Prize

12 January 2010


Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities ucl.ac.uk/~ucbpeal/sophia/" target="_self">Sophia
  • Grand Challenges
  • A vision of an imaginary city has taken top honours in the Craig Patterson Writing Prize.

    The overarching theme of the competition, organised by Sophia Magazine and UCL Grand Challenges, was 'the challenge of sustainable city living and the scale of community'.

    Olivia Hamlyn (UCL Laws) took first prize with her piece 'Sustainable Cities'  - a vivid and detailed description of Athanasia, an imaginary city which exists in perfect harmony with the natural world.

    The runner-up spot went to Ilan Adler (UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering) for his piece 'A Call For A New Paradigm', which paints a picture of Mexico City as it comes to terms with 500 years of dependency on, and the depletion of, the aquifer on which it sits.

    Sophia editor Ed Long said: "In order that the competition might appeal to as broad a range of entrants as possible, we deliberately encouraged a loose interpretation of the theme and the entries we received have indeed spanned a wide range of writing styles -  from bullet points to stanzas of verse."

    Dr Ian Scott, facilitator of UCL Grand Challenges, said: "We were greatly impressed by the quality, innovation and variety of the competition entries and offer our congratulations to the overall winner, Olivia Hamlyn, for her creative and visionary word picture of Athanasia in harmony with nature, and to runner-up Ilan Adler, for his compelling description of the challenges faced by Mexico City."

    The competition is dedicated to the memory of Craig Patterson, founding director of UCL Grand Challenges, who died in September 2008.

    The Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities is focusing UCL's multi-disciplinary expertise on the complex and systemic problem of how to create a truly sustainable urban environment.

    To download an anthology of all the entries in this year's Craig Patterson Writing Prize competition follow the Sophia link above.

    Image: Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities logo

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