Cluttons, RICS Launch New Initiative To Tackle World’s Urban Slums

The initiative – Next Big Thing offers opportunity to turn mass urban settlements into legitimate, sanitary, and productive communities. The competition is searching for ideas and panel of global judges will be looking for proposals that are viable as well as innovative and impactful.

Global real estate company, 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.

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.

The world’s growing urban population means that millions of people now live in shanty towns, slums and favelas. Although rife with disease, crime and poor sanitation, residents choose to stay put because they offer an opportunity to make a living in a thriving economic hub.

The Next Big thing competition is offering a £2,500 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.

The Next Big Thing is a competition for anybody who has an idea to help solve the very real issue described above. Ideas can be as creative and forward thinking as you like, but our panel of global judges will be looking for proposals that are viable as well as innovative and impactful.

The Next Big Thing is a worldwide competition that is open to individuals from across the industry at any level. You could be a student with a proposal you weren’t sure how to pitch, a chief executive with a burning desire to solve a real human problem or someone already working on plans to improve but not destroy the makeshift urban settlements that are growing around the world.

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

Cluttons senior partner, Steven Morgan said: “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 refer to residential areas where occupants have no legal claims, are unplanned and the housing does not comply with current planning and building regulations.

Incoming RICS President and award judge, Amanda Clack stressed, “The number of people who live in urban populations (54 per cent 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.”

Submissions are due by June 30, 2016.


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