Traditional Police Box to be transformed for the digital age in the City of London

A new competition is being launched today [01 February 2021] calling on architects, landscape architects, designers and artists to submit ideas for a 21st Century Police Box to support interaction with residents, workers and visitors in the Square Mile.

The competition, being run by the City of London Corporation, the City of London Police, New London Architecture (NLA) and Bloomberg Associates, aims to provide a modern and engaging way to provide information and safety.

The ‘Digital Service Point’ will creatively reinvent the way residents, workers and visitors to the Square Mile can contact authorities and gain information. They will also store medical equipment for emergency response.

Up to six shortlisted teams will be awarded funding to develop their idea into a design proposal, with the winning design due to be revealed in the summer.

Chairman of the Streets and Walkways Sub Committee at the City of London Corporation, Oliver Sells QC, said:

“We are looking for ideas which will transform the traditional Police Box concept to something more suited to the modern day.

“Once the idea is developed and the Digital Service Points installed, these hubs will improve safety and security on City streets, helping to make the Square Mile even more appealing to our residents, workers and visitors.

“In keeping with the City’s ambition for our world-class public realm, we are encouraging designs that will improve the pedestrian experience while also being environmentally friendly and meeting the primary aim of keeping people safe.”

Temporary Commander at the City of London Police, Dai Evans, said:

“The digital service points will be an exciting additional means to help us prevent crime, deliver effective policing and keep our community safe; they will sit alongside our existing face-to-face contact with the public.

“City of London Police Dedicated Ward Officers continue to patrol the Square Mile, engaging with residents, visitors and businesses. Additionally, our Bishopsgate Police Station remains open for the public to get in contact with our officers.”

Managing Director at New London Architecture (NLA), Tamsie Thomson, said:

“This is such an exciting design competition, and we are thrilled to be working with the City of London Corporation, City of London Police and Bloomberg to offer an exceptional opportunity for architects, landscape architects, designers and artists to make a lasting impact on the City of London’s streets.

“The intersection of design and public infrastructure can be magical: think of Giles Gilbert Scott’s iconic red telephone boxes. And as any Dr Who fan knows, the old-fashioned blue police box has inspired many flights of fancy. Now we’re looking for another imaginative reinvention to grace the City’s streets and serve the public for years to come.”

Todd Asher of Bloomberg Associates, said:

“We commend the City of London and its partners for their forward-thinking initiative to better serve the public through the use of technology. We are pleased to provide insights from around the globe to help bring this idea to life in a way that serves all Londoners.”

Ideas for stage one of the competition must be submitted by midday on 1 March 2021, with the shortlist due to be announced the following week.


Notes to Editors:

More on the competition can be found here: nla.london/submissions/digital-service-point-open-call-competition

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City of London Police is responsible for policing the City’s business district, the ‘Square Mile’ in the historical centre of London. In addition, it holds national responsibility for Economic Crime and under this remit is host to Action Fraud (the national fraud and cybercrime reporting service), the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department and the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. The City of London continues to be one of the safest urban areas in the country.

The City of London Police press office can be contacted on 0207 601 2220.

New London Architecture (NLA) is London’s independent centre for debate, discussion and information about the future shape of the capital. Its membership represents all those involved in the capital’s built environment. The year-round programme provides a platform for NLA’s broad network to meet, share knowledge and shape a better city. nla.london 

Bloomberg Associates is the philanthropic consulting arm of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable organisation, Bloomberg Philanthropies. Founded in 2014, we work side by side with client cities to improve the quality of life for residents, taking a strategic, collaborative and results-oriented approach to making cities stronger, safer, more equitable and efficient. Our team of globally recognised experts and industry leaders has worked with cities across the globe on hundreds of projects in order to ignite change and transform dynamic vision into reality.

For more information on the consultancy, please visit www.bloombergassociates.org or follow us on Twitter @Bloombergassoc.