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News & opinion

17 JANV. 2018

Competition for young people to solve problems facing the world’s cities

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 today.

We have launched the competition to mark our 150th anniversary, with a prize of £50,000 for the global winner to help implement their idea.

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 Future

The competition, the 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.


How can coastal cities like Mumbai better protect their populations from the increased threat of flooding?


How can cities such as Lagos build more affordable housing to keep pace with rapidly expanding populations.


What more can densely populated cities like Singapore do to cope with ongoing urban growth?


Cities like Beijing have already taken steps to improve air quality.  What more can they do to ensure cleaner air as they expand?


How can growing cities like Manchester use data and technology to improve quality of life and work for their citizens?

How to enter

The competition is open to all, but RICS is particularly interested in receiving entries from students and young people with an interest in the built environment. 

The Cities for our Future competition is open for entries from 17 January to 31 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.

Online entries can be made at: