Student awarded Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship

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.

Charles explains:

“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.”

Follow Charlie’s journey on his website.

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.

Top 5 UK School in QS World Rankings

We are pleased to have been listed in the top 5 of UK schools in the Guardians QS world university rankings 2015: architecture. This is a list of the top 100 universities in the world for architecture, as ranked by higher education data specialists QS.

The Sheffield School of Architecture placed 44 overall – which means we are in the top 50 schools worldwide. Reflecting our achievements in the REF 2014, we scored highly on academic reputation, where respondents list institutions which they consider excellent for research in the given area. We also scored well for citations, a measure of how widely our academic papers are referenced.

These results follow some strong showings in the league tables over the last year:

  • 2nd in the Times 2015 Good University Guide
  • 5th in the Complete University Guide 2016
  • 2nd in the Architects Journal list of 100 best Schools in the UK

More information about our reputation.