ACTIVISM : Design Competition - Heathrow Fortress for Greenpeace UK

Airplot is the piece of land in the middle of the proposed third runway site at Heathrow airport, owned by Greenpeace, Emma Thompson, Alistair McGowan, Zac Goldsmith and tens of thousands of people from around the world. The Airplot is a fundamental part of the campaign by Greenpeace and other groups to block construction of a new runway. A new runway would destroy communities, increase noise and air pollution, and contribute significantly to climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. 

So far, Airplot has provided a platform from which to fight the moral and political campaign against the runway. Greenpeace is now inviting professional designers and design teams to consider how to fortify and enhance the airplot so that if necessary, we can physically block construction of a third runway. 

The winning design will gain international attention. Its aesthetic and cultural power will help us win the moral and political campaign before construction is even attempted. But above all it will be a practical solution, facilitating resistance to the development of the runway if full scale non-violent direct action is necessary. 

Of course, we hope that the winning design will never actually need to be built. No new government will be able to justify continued support for the third runway. However, as we know, governments can break promises. If BAA’s third runway plans are pushed towards construction, whenever that may be, then preparations for non-violent resistance will escalate and steps towards building our winning design will start. 

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