Mayor announces winners of Design Future London challenge

Talented youngsters from across the capital used their creativity to design a sustainable Croydon town centre using the popular video game Minecraft.
The collaboration between City Hall, Microsoft’s Minecraft Education and C40 Cities aims to inspire young Londoners into future careers in the green, tech and design industries.

The Mayor of London made his virtual debut as a non-player character in the new London Minecraft World, introducing the challenge to young Londoners.

The youngest participants produced a two minute video explaining their vision of a greener Croydon. Older students went even further creating physical models, worked up proposals, videos and presentations setting out their ideas. Many of the winning submissions focused on the reuse of buildings rather than redevelopment – supporting a circular, more sustainable economy in line with the Mayor’s London Plan. Students were also keen to include bright, new spaces for the community in their designs, such as rooftop gardens and tailor-made facilities for young people.

There were more than 150 entries to the Design Future London Schools Challenge.

We were blown away by the fantastic ideas and designs young Londoners came up with to create the Croydon town centre of the future, from sustainable housing and community spaces to art and transport.

“Partnering with Minecraft Education has made this challenge even more fun and engaging and I congratulate all the young people who took part. They will be designing the homes and green spaces of future generations and I hope will continue our work to build a safer, fairer, greener and more prosperous city for all Londoners.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

The Mayor of London worked with C40 Cities on the challenge, as part of their Schools Reinventing Cities programme which incorporates Minecraft Education. Other partners included George Clarke’s education charity MOBIE – Ministry of Building Innovation and Education, Croydon Council and Mayors Fund for London.

I was very impressed by the variety and quality of entries to Design Future London. Each design was incredibly well thought out and took into account the varied and complex challenges facing Croydon, and London more generally.  Young people are certainly not short of brilliant ideas about how to transform our built environment for the better based on the amazing finalists’ schemes we saw today.  I can’t wait to see what they do next.
George Clarke, Founder, MOBIE
C40 Cities is thrilled to have worked with Minecraft Education and the Mayor of London to give young people the chance to reimagine Croydon Town Centre. Youth voices are vital to the future of cities, and programs like Schools Reinventing Cities help to make sure they are heard. The winners of Design Future London exemplified what a greener, safer future could look like through their innovative ideas and people-first designs. C40 congratulates all participants and encourages them to keep thinking big — our future depends on it.
Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities
This was a fun and accessible way to introduce town planning and regeneration to young people. Congratulations to all the winners. Croydon has the largest population of young people in London, so it was the perfect place for this competition. It’s always great to hear from our young people about their ideas for how to make our communities greener and more sustainable.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon
I’ve been impressed by the innovation and creativity students of all ages have showcased in the Design Future competition. Their diverse perspectives produced imaginative visions of ways to make Croydon, and London, a better place to live. I’m delighted to see how they’ve put their STEM skills to good use, to reimagine the spaces we live and work in. And I am sure they had fun using Minecraft, too.
Justin Edwards, Director of Learning Experiences, Minecraft Education