UAE invited to compete in turning ‘slums’ into organised communties

The Next Big Thing wht on blk

Global real estate firm Cluttons has invited the UAE to participate in an international competition which will help turn the world’s ‘slums’ into sanitary and productive communities.

Run in conjunction with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, ‘The Next Big Thing’seeks to create solutions to a growing problem within communities that are rife with disease, crime and poor sanitation, as well as limited economic opportunities as a result of rapid urbanisation. The competition offers AED 13,500 as cash prize to the winning entrant.

Entries are open to professionals, students and other interested applicants from around the world, with the brief to supply an outline to improve the condition of “unplanned settlements”. Submissions can be either image-based of written in English with a 500-word limit, describing a particular solution to the “urban residential crisis”.


Bandra station surrounding in Mumbia, India. Photography by A.Savin

“This is the second year we’ve hosted The Next Big Thing competition, 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 a significant number of creative and realistic concepts from entrants across 15 countries,” said Steven Morgan, senior partner at Cluttons.


Substandard housing in a slum near Jakarta, Indonesia. Photography by Jonathan McIntosh

This year we are eager to expand the reach of the competition and hope to receive a lot of thought provoking and innovative entries from the Middle East.”

“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,” added Amanda Clack, incoming RICS president and award judge.

The winner of the competition will be flown to London to be presented with the award at a gala ceremony.


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