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Competition seeks to find ‘big idea’ to improve quality of life in Manchester


The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) has launched a global competition* – known as the Cities for our Future Challenge – calling on young people to come up with new ideas, using technology, to boost Manchester resident’s quality of life.

Manchester, Glasgow and London are among 24 global cities chosen for the competition, which asks entrants to provide practical, innovative solutions to address specific challenges in each of these cities – around urbanisation, climate change and resource scarcity – to be in with a chance of winning the generous prize of £50,000.

Whilst Manchester entrants have been tasked with submitting ideas for how we can use data and technology to improve residents’ quality of life in the city, Glasgow entrants must find solutions to tackle the city’s high levels of homelessness, whilst London entrants are to come up with ideas on how to improve the city’s air quality.

The Cities for our Future Challenge is part of the RICS’s 150th anniversary celebrations this year, and is open to all, but the organisation is particularly looking to attract entries from students, young property professionals, as well as entrepreneurs and innovators such as prop-tech start-ups.

The best 12 entries from around the world will be shortlisted for the global prize and receive support and advice from RICS qualified professionals (mentors) to develop and refine their idea(s), before an overall winner is announced in November 2018.

Victoria Hampson, RICS Regional Director commented: “The rapid growth of Manchester is one of the biggest challenges facing the city today as it puts ever more strain on urban infrastructure, housing and vital healthcare services.

“We’re already seeing property firms increasingly using technology and data to deliver and maintain smart, efficient buildings, whilst such intelligence is also making many jobs faster, safer and less costly. It is our hope with this competition that we encourage others to think about how we use the latest technology and data to further improve Manchester’s communities, and potentially deliver a practical solution that will have a real positive, lasting impact on the city’s people and local businesses.”

Sean Tompkins, RICS CEO added: “The world’s cities are growing all the time, creating a range of challenges that will need to be addressed if they are to become safe, clean and attractive places to live. Throughout our 150 years, chartered surveyors have been crucial to urban development and improving communities all over the world.

“Therefore, we are proud to be running this competition in our anniversary year, and to be actively searching for practical ideas to advance not just UK cities, but also many other cities across the globe including Beijing, Mumbai and Lagos, With the help of our RICS mentors, we hope the overall winning solution can be developed and delivered to significantly benefit its respective city’s people, communities and local businesses.”