The jury considers this project an exemplary intervention for the survival of our cities in this new climate era.
The restoration of the Catharijnesingel canal in Utrecht (Netherlands), by Dutch studio OKRA landschapsarchitecten, has been declared winner of the 2022 European Prize for Urban Public Space. The Prize’s international jury, presided by Teresa Galí-Izard (landscape designer, engineer and professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich), considers that the reconstruction of the canal, as well as the recovery of a linear park running along its banks, is an exemplary intervention for the survival of our cities in this new climate era. The jury also highlighted the canal’s role in building up urban resilience in the city: it is increasing Utrecht’s capacity to deal with extreme heat, storms and flooding, and the recovery of water and plant life helps capture carbon and reduce pollution. The canal has become a desirable and playful place to be, for the city’s residents, and it has also created new habitats for other living beings.
The 11th edition of the European Prize for Urban Public Space, an initiative of the Barcelona Contemporary Culture Centre (CCCB), has seen a record number of entrants and widespread representation: 326 projects were submitted, from 35 different countries. The works presented for this edition highlight the problems shared by distinct European cities, and some of the solutions that have been proposed to try to deal with them. This is particularly relevant in the present, post-pandemic context: urban projects must address climate change and aim to make cities more liveable places, something that has become a central issue.
The Catharijnesingel canal has been named winner from a group of five finalists. The runners-up are the Flow swimming pool (Brussels), the Hage garden (Lund), the community gardens of Sporta pils (Riga) and Saint-Sernin Square (Toulouse). All of these projects, as well as the twenty other shortlisted works, will be added to the digital archive of the European Prize for Urban Public Space. This online resource brings together the best works presented for the award since its inception, with more than 300 projects from nearly 200 European cities.