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For the first time in history, more than half the world’s people live in cities. Over 90 percent of urban growth is occurring in the developing world, adding an estimated 70 million new residents to urban areas each year.
This is coupled with estimates that about 1/3 of the world’s population are slum dwellers. These settlements may be called different names – slums, villas miseria, favelas, bidonvilles, shantytowns—all have a common denominator of urgency and they are fast becoming the norm in our societies. While urban poverty is a complex situation, the physical environment of housing is one crucial aspect to be dealt with if this problem is to be tackled.
The purpose of the competition is to consider housing as an urgent and basic component of improving urban environments for the poor and at risk. Architecture students and recent graduates of architecture, along with peers from other fields forming multidisciplinary teams, have a unique role to play in suggesting solutions and approaches in response to the housing crisis facing many cities today.
Buildings and projects are place-specific and must take into account not only physical realities, but also cultural, economic, and the social context. Entries are invited for housing that is appropriate and affordable for a specific place (identified by the participating team). The housing must be for an urban area, and therefore address the needs of many. Schemes or units should be designed so the model can be reproduced/duplicated.
The housing proposed should respond to the needs (geographic, economic possibilities, materials, construction processes, cultural context, etc.) of a specific community or place, selected by the competition entrants. Participants are reminded that the proposal is directed at those in the most fragile economic situations – the poor and disenfranchised- and should selected their community accordingly. The design solution and budget must not assume government subsidies or support.
Teams must submit an architectural concept, as well as a brief business plan justifying the cost, materials proposed, and affordability/viabilityvis a vis the site. Sustainable solutions will be positively rated.
The proposals to be submitted must reflect the economic, social, technological and cultural realities of the specific place.
Proposals will be evaluated based on appropriateness for the specific context (and the justification of this), quality of the design, viability of the proposal, sustainability and innovative approach.
Competition website: Visit website