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The Next Big Thing competition calls for slum solution

17 May 2016

£2,500 prize opportunity open to professionals, students and individuals

Cluttons has teamed up with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to launch an international competition for a concept-solution to the rising number of informal settlements or ‘slums’ that are establishing throughout the world.

The Next Big Thing competition is offering a £2,500 (c. AED 13,230) cash prize to the winning recipient, who will be presented with the award at The EG Awards gala ceremony, attended by more than 1,000 property professionals at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair. 

Entries are open to any professional, student or other individual from anywhere in the world. Submissions can either be image-based or written (English language only) and there is a 500-word limit to describe a solution to the urban residential crisis.

As the world’s population continues to urbanise, Cluttons and RICS want to know what can be done to turn these expanding shanty towns into legitimate, sanitary and productive communities. Currently, these communities are often rife with disease, crime and poor sanitation with limited economic opportunities for their inhabitants.

Steven Morgan, Cluttons senior partner, commented, “This is the second year we’ve hosted The Next Big Thing, which aims to draw attention to international, property-related issues that affect local communities on a global scale. The 2015 competition focused on solving overpopulation in mega cities and we received creative, realistic concepts from entrants across 15 countries. We are again calling on anyone throughout the world who has an idea about how to address these issues.”

Based on the UN Habitat Programme, informal settlements refers to residential areas where occupants have no legal claims, are unplanned and the housing does not comply with current planning and building regulations. 

Amanda Clack, incoming RICS President and award judge said, “The number of people who live in urban populations (54% of the global population) has surpassed those who live in rural areas according to the UN. Informal settlements often arise from rapid urbanisation and the inability to adequately cope with the housing needs of people in these areas. The result is poor habitations that pose health risks and encourage crime, violence and other social problems. RICS has an international reputation for training to ensure property professionals help deliver a better real estate environment. That is why we are supporting this great initiative.”

The Next Big Thing is supported in conjunction with leading UK real estate magazine, Estates Gazette. The winner and project will also gain international exposure and recognition once the award is announced.

For more information, please visit Submissions are due by 30 June 2016.