OxLEP backs Smart Oxford Playable City competition

A global competition – supported by OxLEP – with the aim to create a more 'connected and collaborative Oxford' has been launched.

The Smart Oxford Playable City Commission was launched earlier this month, challenging creative people from around the world to produce an idea that puts people and play at the heart of Oxford.

Smart Oxford will work with Playable City to choose a project that will capture the imagination of those who live, visit and work in-and-around Oxford.

Applicants from across the globe are invited to respond to the theme of the ‘shared city’ by 20 June with the winner being awarded £30,000 to develop their idea.

Artists, designers, architects, technologists and creative practitioners – demonstrating a history of delivering high-quality, innovative practice – are invited to propose distinctive ideas on the theme, using smart city technologies, that will make the city of Oxford more connected and collaborative. 

Judging the entries will be former deputy prime minister and chair of the Haymarket Group the Rt Hon. the Lord Heseltine CH, who will lead the panel. He will be joined by renowned designer and founding partner of Umbrellium, Usman Haque.

The complete judging panel will be announced with the shortlist in July. 

Sebastian Johnson – vice-chair of Smart Oxford and principal economic development officer at Oxford City Council – said: “We are partnering with Playable City during 2017 to deliver this flagship project to help people understand the opportunities and benefits that can be achieved through the combination of technology, data and communities.

“This is an innovation-led project that is open, inclusive, accessible and engaging. Our hope is that it will catch the imagination of all who live, visit and work in and around Oxford.”

The commission in Oxford follows on from success in Bristol where Playable City launched in 2012.

Lord Heseltine added: “I am delighted to be chairing the judging panel of the Smart Oxford Competition. I am looking forward to reviewing the innovative and creative ideas the competition will generate and am excited to see the winning entry delivered in the iconic city of Oxford.”

Hilary O'Shaughnessy, producer of Playable City, also said: “We are delighted to share this brilliant new opportunity to partner with our first UK city outside of Bristol.

“Working across the globe from Texas to Tokyo, we have seen the power of creative technology and play to showcase the diversity of experience in cities in new ways. We are excited to see what will be commissioned for Oxford.”

For more information on how to enter the competition, go to the Smart Oxford website.