Play With Your City 2019 is now accepting submissions.

Share your ideas for temporary or permanent interventions to improve the pedestrian experience along Lady Street from Main to Lincoln.

(Columbia, SC) — Share your concepts for making the Lady Street corridor in downtown Columbia, South Carolina more walkable and inviting to pedestrian traffic during Play With Your City 2019: Reimagining Lady.

The Columbia Design League is now accepting entries for the project. The submission deadline is Monday, April 29, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. (EST) The winning entry will receive a $5,000 cash prize awarded by the Columbia Design League, with implementation planned for the fall of 2019. The project is supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at Central Carolina Community Foundation.

What’s significant about Lady Street?  In a 2015 Public Space Public Life Survey — conducted on behalf of the City of Columbia with support from Knight Foundation and Central Carolina Community Foundation — 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 the site info and street views for a closer look at what Lady Street looks like now.

You’re invited to Play With Your City again.  The Columbia Design League launched the Play With Your City series in 2011. Jonathan Brilliant captured the first Play With Your City competition with a whimsical temporary installation in a Main Street park. Field of Good Fortune — a series of human scale fortune cookie fortunes — provided unexpected respite and reflection and a new way to experience the grassy park. The installation was in place for one month and is still fondly remembered today by many who visited.

For Play With Your City 2019, you can submit ideas to make the Lady Street corridor a people-first place where pedestrian, cyclist and transit experiences are prioritized. Concepts can be temporary or permanent interventions to 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 leaders in a blind jury methodology:

Play With Your City 2019 Design Jury

  • Mike Lydon, Jury Chair | Tactical Urban Designer
  • Steve Benjamin | Mayor, City of Columbia
  • DeAnna Cummings | Juxtaposition Arts
  • Gabe Klein | City Transportation Specialist
  • John Fellows | Urban Planner & Urban Designer, City of Columbia

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 Monday, April 29, 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.

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.


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