Call for Entries Play With Your City 2019: Reimagining Lady

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Call for Entries Play With Your City 2019: Reimagining Lady

May 24, 2019


Share your ideas for to improve the pedestrian experience along Lady Street from Main to Lincoln until Friday, May 24.

(Columbia, SC) — The Columbia Design League has extended entries for Play With Your City 2019: Reimagining Lady, a project for making the Lady Street corridor in downtown Columbia, South Carolina more inviting to pedestrian traffic. The submission deadline has been extended until Friday, May 24, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). The winning entry will receive a $5,000 cash prize awarded by the Columbia Design League, with design implementation slated for the fall of 2019.

A design series created to inspire people-first urban experiences.

Play With Your City 2019 is the second in a series of public competitions designed to involve the public in civic development and design. Artist Jonathan Brilliant captured the first Play With Your City competition in 2011 with a whimsical temporary installation in a downtown park. Field of Good Fortune — a series of human scale fortune cookie fortunes — was in place for one month and is still fondly remembered today by many who visited.

What makes Lady Street special for Columbia, SC?

A 2015 Public Space Public Life Survey identified a segment of Lady Street (Main to Lincoln) as an opportunity to create a pedestrian thoroughfare that connects two of the city’s thriving downtown districts: Main Street and the Vista. While both ends of the corridor are vibrant, the pedestrian experience between is challenging:

  • A six-lane thoroughfare effectively separates Main Street from the Vista.
  • Once across busy Assembly Street, the dominant features are a hodge-podge of surface parking and single-story buildings.
  • Check out site info and street views for a closer look at what Lady Street looks like now.

Let’s create a more enticing experience by design.

Concepts for Play With Your City 2019 should strive to make the Lady Street corridor a people-first place. Interventions, which can be temporary or permanent, should improve the pedestrian experience and introduce ‘urban stickiness,’ enticements that invite pedestrians to slow down, stop and linger. Solutions that incorporate and blur the distinctions between architecture, landscape design, urban design and art installation are encouraged.


  • Entries should be conceived with a $20,000 total construction budget.
  • The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.
  • Entrants may work alone, but multi-disciplinary design teams are encouraged.
  • Entries will be evaluated by a national jury of urban designers, planners and city leaders in a blind jury methodology.

Play With Your City 2019 Jury

  • Mike Lydon, Jury Chair | Tactical Urban Designer | Street Plans, New York City
  • Steve Benjamin | Mayor | Columbia, SC
  • DeAnna Cummings | Cultural Development |Juxtaposition Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • John Fellows | Urban Planner & Urban Designer | Columbia, SC
  • Gabe Klein | City Transportation Specialist | Cityfi, Washington, DC

How to Enter

Visit to review the complete call for entries, submission criteria, site detail resources and to submit your entry. The deadline to enter is Friday, May 24, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. (EST)

The Columbia Design League reserves the right to negotiate with the designer(s) regarding additional professional consultants to implement the winning concept, as necessary. Play With Your City 2019 is supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at Central Carolina Community Foundation.

About the Columbia Design League

The Columbia Design League (CDL) is an affiliate group of the Columbia Museum of Art. The group works to educate others about design excellence, emphasize the importance of great design, and to broaden understanding of how good design affects nearly every facet of life. The CDL gathers its membership for an annual series of meetings and welcomes guests and nonmembers with an interest in design. For details, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Columbia Design League
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