A BOWDON based architecture student has won a prestigious award for imaging fresh ways to revitalise US port cities.

Final year student Andy Wilde, 24, from York Drive in Bowdon, along with team-mates from the Manchester School of Architecture, beat finalists from six North American universities to win the WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture design competition.

Their award-winning plan, branded 'R_Ignite', proposed the reuse of port cities’ industrial infrastructure and greening of the shipwrecking industry through recycling and social activities.

The team were given their award on a special Symposium day in Washington DC, and their work was put on display alongside other finalists.

Andy told the Messenger: "The idea was based on Birkenhead in the Wirral, which is a typical example of a town in post-industrial decline.

"During the industrial revolution it had a lot of industry. Now it's got a lot of redundant infrastructure. Our proposal is about trying to reignite that infrastructure through recycling.

"At the minute ships are just recycled in third-world countries like Bangladesh, where they're basically ground into dust. Oil rigs are just blown up and left to sink in the sea. It's not very environmentally friendly."

The competition, organised by the University of California's urban research and design team cityLAB, aimed to encourage interest in buildings that can revitalise communities.

Entrants were asked to come up with proposals to revive US port cities, many of which are suffering from post-industrial decline.

Anyone interested in seeing more of Andy’s architecture work can look at his website: andywilde.com