Durban - The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has launched the Cities for our Future Challenge and Durban is one of 24 global cities chosen to participate. Other African cities include Lagos and Nairobi.

The competition held with the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Association of Commonwealth Universities calls on young people to come up with fresh ideas to tackle the pressing problems of cities around the world

“The growth of the world’s cities is one of the biggest challenges facing society today. Three million people move to cities every week, placing increasing strain on urban infrastructure and services. Many city dwellers live in slums or poor quality housing, and many put up with poor air quality and transport links,” says TC Chetty, the institute's manager for South Africa.

Entrants have been asked to propose solutions to issues affecting the 24 global cities, with a prize of £50 000 for the global winner. Entries will need to provide practical, innovative solutions to address the challenges.

“Forming part of our 150th anniversary celebrations and focusing on urbanisation, climate change and resource scarcity, the competition enables us to demonstrate the importance of the built environment professions and its appeal to younger professionals and students, while making a real difference to tackling the challenges facing the world today. In addition to the prize money for the global winner, the best entries will also receive guidance and mentoring from professionals in their regions," said Chetty

“So if you’re an imaginative, problem-solving young professional, start-up or student involved in surveying, urban design, architecture or engineering, then we want you to share your transformative ideas for projects and policies that will solve some of the defining issues of our time,” he 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 comfortable places to live. Throughout the Royal Institution’s 150 years, built environment professionals have been crucial to urban development all over the globe and we are proud to be running this competition to find innovative and practical ideas to improve our cities,” said Sean Tompkins, CEO of the institute. 

Entrants in regard to Durban are asked to consider what cities like this can do to ensure they protect valuable natural environments as they continue to grow, while in Lagos entrants are asked to consider how cities can build more affordable housing to keep pace with rapidly expanding populations. In Nairobi entrants are asked to consider what cities like Nairobi can do to encourage the development of a low carbon economy.

Young people wishing to enter the competition should visit Entires are open until May 31. Entries will be judged in each region in June, resulting in a global shortlist of 10 entries. Final judging takes place in November.

For further information, call TC Chetty on 031 7644645 or 083 264 3134 or email [email protected].