Entries Sought for Sustainable Urban Housing Competition

[1 December 2010] -- Ashoka’s Changemakers, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation and in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of State, and the American Planning Association (APA), is holding an online competition to find the best solutions to integrate and develop affordable, inclusive and sustainable urban housing. 
Titled “Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities,” the competition aims to encourage successful solutions that engage communities, entrepreneurs, and key institutions in collaboration, while simultaneously respecting the environment, local cultures and practices.
“By the middle of this century, more than three quarters of the world’s population will live in cities, which means global poverty will have an urban face,” said Rockefeller Foundation Associate Director Benjamin de la Pena in a 5 November press release announcing the competition.
“We must encourage entrepreneurial solutions and innovations in policy to rapidly scale sustainable and inclusive urban housing, and need solutions that are co-created with both the urban poor and historically marginalised populations.”
The competition seeks innovative products, policies, and strategies that mobilise community resources and the ingenuity of designers, planners, environmentalists, developers, bankers, engineers, and civic and government leaders. Winners will build affordable, liveable, inclusive communities by connecting a broad network of entrepreneurial problem-solvers and strengthening citizen engagement that directly involves communities.
While the focus of the competition is on Latin America and the Caribbean, all solutions for creating sustainable urban housing in any city around the world are welcome.
“As the first developing continent to urbanise, Latin America and the Caribbean has enormous experience in dealing with the challenges, and the opportunities, associated with urbanisation,” said Cities Alliance Programme Manager William Cobbett, who will serve as a judge in the competition. “This competition should also provide extremely valuable lessons for partners in Africa and Asia.”
The 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.  
Application information
The competition is open to all individuals, teams, and organisations (charitable organisations, private companies, or public entities). Solutions can be nominated or submitted through the Changemakers website  from 5 November through 2 February 2011. The top three entries submitted by 5pm EST, 2 February 2011 will each win US $10,000.
The most competitive entrants will be invited to an event that closes the competition in June 2011 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Innovators and their models will introduced to both public and private partners, including prospective funders.
For more about how to apply as well as guidelines and criteria, please visit the Changemakers website
About Ashoka’s Changemakers
A pioneer in the global field of social entrepreneurship, Ashoka has supported over 2,000 fellowships in more than 60 countries since its establishment in 1980. Changemakers® is an Ashoka initiative, begun in 1994, that advances the vision of an “Everyone a Changemaker”™ world. Through online collaborations and communication, Changemakers helps advance and scale blossoming social innovations.
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