Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities

Sustainable Urban Housing

Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities

Competition Information

Competition News

Thank you for your votes! Stay tuned for the winners announcement on April 12, 2011.

This competition is being launched in anticipation of the 2012 Summit of the Americas, and in support of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA). It is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, and is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of State, and the American Planning Association with support from the Brazilian Ministry of Cities.

Winners Announced! The three winners will each receive a prize of US $10,000.

You may continue to read and comment on all entries. As always, we welcome your feedback.

This competition was launched in anticipation of the 2012 Summit of the Americas, and in support of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA). It is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, and is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of State, and the American Planning Association with support from the Brazilian Ministry of Cities.

The most competitive entrants will be showcased and reviewed at an event that closes the competition on July 18-19, 2011 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. where they will be viewed by public and private partners, including prospective funders.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive regular updates and to give us your feedback.

Photo © Sean Sprague/SpraguePhoto.com

 

Welcome Letter

Dear Changemakers Community,

Today half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050, three out of four people in the world will live in cities, as millions continue to stream into urban areas in search of fresh opportunities. Cities, as the engines of the global economy, offer these migrants jobs and livelihoods. These new residents, in turn, offer a diverse pool of human capital, talent, entrepreneurship, and innovation on which cities can grow their economies.

The majority of cities, particularly in the developing world, are not prepared for this dramatic growth. An estimated one billion people now live in slums, largely as a result of inadequate planning, poor policies, market failures, and gaps in governmental capacity. Cities that develop strategies to meet this critical shortage in affordable, sustainable, and inclusive housing, and address the challenge of energy constraints and climate change, will raise living standards, create more liveable communities, and reduce environmental impact.

In anticipation of the 2012 Summit of the Americas, and in support of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA), Ashoka Changemakers is launching a global competition titled Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Communities. This competition seeks to inspire innovations that address the lack of adequate and inclusive housing, and pioneer energy-efficient and sustainable models for housing design, construction, land use, community planning, creative housing finance, community involvement, and public policy. The competition is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, and is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of State, and the American Planning Association.

The competition focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean, the most urbanized region in the developing world, in an effort to offer lessons and opportunities for the rest of the world. It seeks integrated solutions, policies, and ideas that are co-created with the urban poor and with historically marginalized populations. It also seeks new models for meaningful and effective collaboration that integrate the work of community leaders, urban planners, academics, transportation specialists, credit and financial institutions, architectural and public policy professionals, and local governments.

The competition especially seeks to identify solutions that respond to communities’ needs, work with the existing infrastructure, respect local, indigenous culture, materials, and practice, and can be applied to a wide range of locations. Entrants are also encouraged to consider strategies that incorporate land rights and management, new technologies, transportation, financing, credit for the poor, and standards for accessibility, work-life balance, health, public safety, environmental quality, and citizen security.

The most competitive entrants will be collaborations that incorporate affordable, inclusive, and sustainable ideas with tangible plans to be adapted and implemented in urban environments. These entrants will be showcased and reviewed at an event that closes the competition in June 2011 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. There, innovative examples of sustainable urban housing will be viewed by public and private partners, including prospective funders, to stimulate economic growth, combat poverty, and build environmentally savvy, transit-rich, walkable urban cities.

Identifying new strategies and long-term investments to address issues of housing, sustainability and energy efficiency will not only unleash economic opportunities for the urban poor, but also create renewable energy, cleaner fossil fuels, and low carbon development to build more resilient, liveable communities for millions worldwide.

- The Changemakers Team

Guidelines & Criteria

The Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities competition is open to all individuals, teams, and organizations (charitable organizations, private companies, or public entities). This global competition has a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, but solutions for creating sustainable urban housing in any city around the world are welcome. We consider all entries that:

  • Reflect the theme of the challenge: Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities. The scope of the competition is to identify collaborative solutions that build affordable, safe, sustainable, and inclusive urban housing that respects local cultures, materials, and practices.
  • Are at a conceptual, “idea” stage; have a proven success at a small level, with the potential to grow in other cities around the world; or indicate growth beyond the conceptual stage and have already demonstrated impact and sustainability. Some innovations will achieve their impact quickly, while some will seed change for the long term on an incremental basis. While we support new ideas at every stage and encourage their entry, the judges are better able to evaluate programs that are beyond the conceptual stage and have demonstrated a proof of impact.
  • Are submitted in English, French, Spanish, or Portuguese.

Please complete the entire entry form and submit by February 11, 2011 5PM US EST. Note that entries will be strengthened with visual materials. All decisions of the judges will be final.

Assessment Criteria

The Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the American Planning Association, and the U.S. Department of State are interested in solutions from a variety of disciplines and are particularly interested in identifying integrated solutions, policies, and ideas for urban housing that are co-created with the urban poor. It also seeks new models for meaningful and effective collaboration that integrate the work of community leaders, urban planners, academics, transportation specialists, credit and financial institutions, waste and sanitation experts, architectural and public policy professionals, and local governments, respecting the plans and existing frameworks that cities already have in place.

This global competition, with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, seeks new products, policies, and strategies that mobilize community resources and the ingenuity of designers, planners, environmentalists, developers, bankers, engineers, and civic and government leaders. It also seeks to connect a broad network of entrepreneurial problem solvers and strengthen citizen engagement by directly involving communities in co-creating innovative, low-cost, and sustainable housing solutions that help build affordable, liveable, inclusive communities.

The winners of the Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities competition will be those entries that best meet the following criteria:

  • Innovation: This is the knock-out test; if the work is not innovative the judges will not give it high rankings. The application must describe the systemic, product or policy innovation on which it is focused. The innovation should be a unique model of change demonstrating a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field with the possibility for large-scale replication.
  • The Sustainable Urban Housing competition especially seeks to identify solutions that respond to communities’ needs, work with the existing infrastructure, respect local, indigenous culture, materials, and practice, and can be applied to a wide range of locations. Entrants are also encouraged to consider strategies that incorporate land rights and management, new technologies, transportation, financing, credit for the poor, and standards for accessibility, work-life balance, health, public safety, environmental quality, and citizen security.

  • Social Impact: It is important that the innovative idea provides a system-changing solution for the issue it addresses. Some innovations will have proven success at a small level, while others will have potential to grow, engaging millions of people in communities around the world. Still others will achieve their impact quickly, while some will seed change for the long term. Entries will be judged by their ability to be replicated to other urban cities, articulation of clear “How-Tos”, and capacity to formulate a “road map” and tangible plan to create community change.
  • No idea is too small or large – we welcome provocative ideas. The Rockefeller Foundation and its partners seek to bring the best solutions together, whether at an idea stage or a more advanced, proven stage of implementation, so we inspire each other to meet the challenges of urbanization around the world.

  • Operational Sustainability: For an innovation to be truly effective it must have a plan for how it will acquire financial and other bases of support for the long-term. Entries should describe not only how they are currently financing their work, but also how they plan to finance their work in the future. The most successful entrants go beyond discussing whether or not they will charge for services and describe a business plan. They should also demonstrate that they have strong partnerships and support networks to address an ongoing need, and to aid in scalability and the maintenance of a clear financial strategy.
  • The most competitive entries will also address how the incorporation of environmentally sustainable strategies will make the lives of urban residents lower-cost and more affordable in the long term, both for individuals, local governments, businesses, the health care industry, and other organizations.

In addition, entrants should address the criteria of environmental sustainability in their plan:

  • Environmental Sustainability: Entrants should include specifications on how their strategy will improve and build urban housing that can be maintained at a level that does not exhaust natural resources or cause severe ecological damage. The most successful entrants will have collaborative plans that improve building-level energy efficiencies, cut greenhouse gas emissions through transit-oriented development and the creation of walkable cities, and take advantage of other local energy conscious opportunities. These plans should make homes healthier and more energy efficient, while at the same time, prepare of a new generation of professionals, from construction workers to architects and factory workers, to integrate solar panels, wind turbines, and other green technologies and materials into housing construction and renovation. The strategies should also focus on the process of creating policies and plans to create urban housing and infrastructures that are safe, sanitary, and forward-thinking to prevent environmental damage and disasters on both small and large scales.

Competition Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules

Online competition submissions are accepted until February 11, 2011 at 5PM US EST. At any time before this deadline, competition participants are encouraged to revise their entries based on questions and insights that they receive in the Changemakers discussion. Participation in the discussion enhances an entrant’s prospects in the competition and provides the community and the judges an opportunity to understand the entrant’s project more completely.

There are four main phases in the competition:

  • Entry Stage, November 5, 2010 – February 11, 2011: Entries can be submitted until 5PM US EST on February 11, 2011, and throughout this stage anyone can participate in an online review discussion with the entrants.
  • Online Review and Judging, February 11, 2011 – March 22, 2011: Online review and discussion continues. Simultaneously, a panel of expert judges and a team of Ashoka staff select the competition finalists.
  • Voting, March 23- April 6, 2011: The Changemakers community votes online to select the award-winners from the field of finalists.
  • Winners Announced – April 12, 2011

Prizes

Early Entry Prize: The two best entries submitted by 5PM EST, December 12, 2010 will each be eligible to win a prize of US $500. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude you from winning the competition in any way, or guarantee finalist status. All entries will be equally evaluated per the Changemakers criteria at the completion of the entry period. The Early Entry Prize winners will be announced on December 19, 2010.

Online Winners: A panel of independent judges selected by Ashoka, the Rockefeller Foundation and its partners will select 15 finalists from all of the entries submitted in the competition. All entries will be evaluated pursuant to the criteria as stated above. From among these 15 finalists, the Changemakers' online community will vote for three winners. In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken by a vote of the independent judges. Any person may sign into and register with Changemakers at: http://www.changemakers.com/en-us to vote.

The top three entries will win US $10,000 each. Winners will be announced on April 12, 2011.

Fifteen finalists will be invited to an event that closes the competition in June 2011 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. There, innovative examples of sustainable urban housing will receive the support of public and private partners to stimulate economic growth, combat poverty, and build environmentally savvy, transit-rich, walkable urban cities.

Participation in the challenge provides the opportunity to receive feedback from fellow entrants, Changemakers staff, judges, and the Changemakers community. Showcasing initiatives and demonstrating social impact advise potential investors about how best to maximize the strategic impact of their investments.

Disclaimer - Compliance with Legal Restrictions

Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. All grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.

Competition Partners:

An urban planner provides a critical lens to help you vote for the best competition entries.

Judges Panel

Angel Cabrera

President, Thunderbird School of Global Management

Eduardo Rojas

Urban Development Consultant,

Inês Magalhães

National Housing Secretary, Federal Republic of Brazil

Jane Weru

Executive Director and Founding Member, Akiba Mashinani Trust

Jeroo Billimoria

Founder, Aflatoun

María Otero

Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Ron Sims

Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Sara Topelson

Undersecretary for Urban and Territorial Development, Federal Government of Mexico

William Cobbett

Manager, Cities Alliance