University of Sydney law and economics student Kavya Nagpal is the winner of this year’s $10,000-a-year Lendlease Bradfield Urbanisation Scholarship.

Kavya Nagpal says the Sydney of the future will be more connected than ever, but also “more lonely.”

Nagpal also says that combating this increasing loneliness isn’t about cramming apartments in a city but requires “clever design techniques are needed to foster more social interaction.”

Inspired by leading American architect Jeanne Gang’s Aqua Tower in Chicago and the ‘Superblocks’ of Barcelona, Nagpal  has a vision for ‘micropolises’ – or urban villages – of residential high-rises, vertical farms and commercial and public-services buildings that incorporate innovative modern design solutions to create a sense of community that flourished in local villages in the past.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Nagpal says that her design would see new buildings enveloped by curving balcony edges that allow interactions to occur between neighbours — rather than being blocked off by concrete walls.

“They would also overlook grassed areas which would make apartment living more attractive to families,” she says in the newspaper article.