Sheffield MArch student, Charles Palmer, has been selected for the 2015 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship.
His winning proposal, Cycling Megacities, considers how “the low social status of the bicycle in developing countries restricts the level of public investment in necessary infrastructure.”
The study will take Charles to megacities in four developing countries – Mexico City, Mexico; Lagos, Nigeria; Dhaka, Bangladesh and Shenzhen, China, each of which presents different challenges to bicycle advocacy and urban design. He will explore how policies, investments and campaigns are transforming urban public space in a bid to make the bicycle a transportation option for all social classes.
The jury included Lord Foster, Stephen Hodder, RIBA President, Lady Hopkins, Founding Partner of Hopkins Architects, Peter Oborn, RIBA Vice President International and Spencer de Grey, Roger Ridsdill Smith and Narinder Sagoo of Foster + Partners.
“I am elated to be this year’s winner of the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship award and very excited to explore the relationship between urban design and cycling further by travelling to megacities around the world. I thank Foster + Partners for their generosity and the judging panel for choosing my project to take forward. I also thank Carolyn Butterworth and the other Sheffield School of Architecture Staff for their support.”
Lord Foster commented:
“I congratulate Charles Palmer on this result – the jury felt this was an important subject, with an interesting focus on these rapidly expanding cities, and we were interested in the potential lessons that this research could offer for UK policy.”
RIBA President Stephen Hodder said:
“As a keen cyclist, I am conscious that it is an issue which is not being dealt with as well as it should be in the UK, and was pleased to see that the intention of this research is to inform the debate and guide UK policy. I look forward to reading Charles’ findings in due course, which, thanks to the generosity of Foster + Partners, will no doubt build on the work being conducted by the RIBA on healthy cities.”
Initially set up in 2006 as a biennial programme, the £6,000 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship is awarded to one student to fund international research on a topic and in a location of their choice. In 2009, Foster + Partners enabled the Scholarship to be awarded annually by donating an extra £100,000 to the endowment.