Friday 19 January 2018

£50,000 prize for best city solution

A new global competition to encourage students and young people to find solutions to the issues facing the world’s rapidly expanding cities has been launched by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) to mark its 150th anniversary. It offers a prize of £50,000 for the global winner to help implement their idea. The competition is open to all but RICS is particularly interested in receiving entries from students, including postgraduate researchers, with an interest in the built environment.

With three million people moving to cities every week, the growth of the urban population is one of the biggest challenges facing society today.  This rapid expansion is putting ever more strain on urban infrastructure and services. Many city dwellers live in slums or poor quality housing; many put up with poor air quality and inadequate transport links.

Cities for our Futures

The competition, Cities for our Future, was launched in partnership with the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. The challenge calls on young people to come up with new ideas to help tackle the most pressing problems in relation to the rapid pace of urbanisation, impact of climate change on cities and resource scarcity.

The best 12 entries from around the world will be shortlisted for the global prize and receive support and advice from RICS qualified professionals, before an overall winner is announced in November 2018.

The competition asks entrants to propose solutions to specific issues affecting 24 global cities.  Each of these issues has been identified by built environment professionals working in the specific city or region. Cities selected include: Mumbai, Lagos, Beijing and Manchester.

Sean Tompkins, RICS CEO said:

“By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. A seismic change has occurred since 1900 when two-thirds of the population lived in rural communities. The world’s cities are growing all the time, creating a range of challenges that will need to be addressed if they are to become safe, clean and comfortable places to live for future generations. Throughout the Royal Institution’s 150 years, chartered surveyors have been crucial to urban development all over the globe and we are proud to be running this competition to help stimulate innovation and find practical ideas to improve our cities.”

The Cities for our Future competition is open for entries from 17th January to 31st May 2018.  Regional judging will take place in June and July 2018 with the regional winners receiving help and support from RICS professionals in their region to develop their ideas.  A global shortlist will be announced in July 2018 and an overall winner unveiled in November 2018.

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