For those of you who have not got the foggiest idea what we are going on about, it turns out that up until 1948 there was a medal for Town Planning in the Olympic Games… No we didn’t know that either until Matt happened to be watching an episode of Qi – the fountain of all useless knowledge and was informed of such a fact. After a spot of research it turns out that this indeed is true.
How topical just as the London Olympics is about to be rammed down our throats for the next few weeks, it’s difficult to imagine that Town Planning was ever a part of the international competition. But apparently the combination of art and athletics was part of Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s vision when he helped create the Games back at the turn of the 20th century. It was not until the Stockholm Games in 1912 that medals were given for architecture, sculpture, painting, music and literature.
Until the Amsterdam Games in 1928, the architectural competition was not divided into categories. The 1928 games introduced a Town Planning Category. However, the division was not always clear, and some designs were awarded prizes in both categories. It was won by a German in 1928, by a Brit in 1932 (for a sports complex in Liverpool), by two Germans in 1936 and the last Town Planning Gold medal was won by a Fin in 1948.
Let’s get this medal reinstated immediately!