The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has launched an international ideas contest – featuring a £50,000 top prize – focussing on major urban challenges around the world
Open to students, start-ups and young professionals in the fields of surveying, design, architecture and engineering – the competition seeks innovative proposals to combat emerging issues, such as urbanisation, climate change and resource scarcity in 24 cities around the world.
The call for ideas – supported by the United Kingdom National Commission (UKNC) for UNESCO and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) – is part of RICS’s 150th anniversary celebrations this year. UK cities selected for the contest include Glasgow, Manchester and London while overseas cities include Mumbai, Lagos and Beijing.
RICS chief executive Sean Tompkins said: ‘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 attractive places to live. Throughout our 150 years, chartered surveyors have been crucial to urban development and improving communities all over the world.
‘Therefore, we are proud to be running this competition in our anniversary year, and to be actively searching for practical ideas to advance not just UK cities, but also many other cities across the globe including Beijing, Mumbai and Lagos. With the help of our RICS mentors, we hope the overall winning solution can be developed and delivered to make a real, positive impact on its respective city’s people, communities and local businesses.’
UKNC for UNESCO chair Beth Taylor said: ‘As more and more of the world’s population become city dwellers, finding ways to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities – has never been more important. I believe that the innovations generated by the Cities for our Future competition could help deliver essential solutions, and I am sure that engaging young minds will help provide the spark needed to improve the lives of urban dwellers around the globe.’
Joanna Newman, chief executive and secretary general of the ACU, added: ‘Universities and their students have a pivotal role to play in finding solutions to these issues, and many of our member institutions have a wealth of expertise in this area.
‘By partnering with RICS and the UK National Commission for UNESCO on Cities for our Future, the ACU is confident that we can galvanise the knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm of our diverse membership, and encourage the development of solutions to these pressing problems.’
Each of the 24 major global cities selected for the contest has its own unique brief. The Glasgow brief focuses on tackling the city’s high levels of homelessness, while Manchester’s brief invites participants to harness data and technology to better improve resident’s quality of life.
The London contest will meanwhile focus on improving the city’s air quality and encourage investment in cleaner air initiatives. The best 12 submissions from all of the categories will be shortlisted for the £50,000 prize – due to be announced in November – and will receive professional support to further develop their concepts.
The deadline for applications is 31 May.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information