Global, News

MENA projects shortlisted for global future cities competition

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in partnership with the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO, has announced the shortlist for the Cities for our Future competition.

The full shortlist of entries announced today include:

A 10km2 satellite village, called “Smart Village Dubai”, which features a specially designed energy-generating greenhouse unit that generates crops. The idea, proposed by Ansar Azeez from Oman, aims to maximise the renewable energy capability in Dubai, whilst simultaneously stimulating agriculture.

A design for new photovoltaic panels with an innovative passive cooling method to increase efficiency and output was proposed by Ayman Amin from Sudan. The new PV panels can be applied to anywhere in the GCC and in hot climates globally, reducing the dependency on non-renewable energy resources.

An Internet of Things Water Control Management system, proposed by Claudio Freitas from the United States. The system, which already has a working prototype, will give administrators the ability to control the measurement and quality of water through a mobile, web-based system. Although it is applicable to numerous countries across the world, it was originally developed to address problems with water reliability in Azraq refugee camp in Jordan.

An idea to use salt from the Dead Sea for both green construction and as a source of electricity. Proposed by Rasha Abuolaim from Jordan, the concept centres around salt crystallisation on a mesh structure, coupled with a salinity gradient solar pond to produce and store solar energy.

A new water infrastructure system, proposed by Yicheng Xu from the United States, to improve water scarcity and inequality in Jordan. The proposal is set over three phases, and can be applied to other cities that suffer from a limited access to water.

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.

The Cities for our Future competition, run by RICS in partnership with the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, called upon young people to come up with new ideas to help tackle the most pressing problems affecting cities in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as those around the world. The competition received more than 1,200 entries globally and 54 alone in MENA.

Robert Jackson, RICS Director and Head Judge of the regional judging panel for MENA, said, “We face an unprecedented challenge as more and more people live in cities throughout the Middle East and North Africa. All of the entries were creative, innovative and well thought through and incorporated considerations of the environmental and climatic conditions in this part of the world.

“We have been delighted by the response and are confident that any of those on our shortlist could make it to the final stages of the competition.”

An overall winner from MENA will be announced in July and will go on to the global shortlist with the chance to win £50,000. All entries on the global shortlist will get the chance to work with an expert mentor provided by RICS, who will help develop the idea in the run up to the final judging in November.


Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


The free newsletter covering the top industry headlines