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RICS launches global competition

The best 12 entries from around the world will be shortlisted for the global prize and will receive support and advice

How can cities like Mumbai protect themselves from the increased threat of flooding?
How can cities like Mumbai protect themselves from the increased threat of flooding?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has announced a global competition calling on young people to come up with new ideas to tackle the most pressing problems affecting leading cities in the UK, and around the world.


Known as the Cities for our Future Challenge, the competition is being run in partnership with the United Kingdom National Commission (Unesco) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).


Manchester, Glasgow and London are among 24 global cities chosen for the competition, which asks entrants to provide practical, innovative solutions to address specific challenges – such as urbanisation, climate change and resource scarcity – in each of these cities to be in with a chance of winning the prize of £50,000.


Glasgow entrants have been tasked with finding solutions to tackle the city’s high levels of homelessness, whilst Manchester entrants must submit ideas on how data and technology can be used to better improve residents’ quality of life.


Meanwhile, London entrants have to come up with solutions on how to improve the city’s air quality and encourage investment in cleaner air initiatives.


Other cities around the world below have been set with the following challenges:

  • Mumbai: how can coastal cities like Mumbai better protect their populations from the increased threat of flooding?
  • Lagos: how can cities such as Lagos build more affordable housing to keep pace with rapidly expanding populations?
  • Beijing: cities like Beijing have already taken steps to improve air quality. What more can they do to ensure cleaner air as they expand?

The challenge is part of the RICS’s 150th anniversary celebrations this year, and is open to all, but the organisation is particularly looking to attract entries from students and early career surveyors, as well as entrepreneurs and innovators such as prop-tech start-ups.


The best 12 entries from around the world will be shortlisted for the global prize and receive support and advice from RICS qualified professionals (mentors) to develop and refine their idea(s), before an overall winner is announced in November 2018.


“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,” said Dr Beth Taylor, chair of the UKNC for Unesco.


“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.”


Other cities chosen for the Cities for our Future Challenge can be found on the RICS website.

For more information on the RICS’s 150 year celebrations and campaign, visit


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