Global competition launched to find best solutions to tackle high levels of homelessness across Glasgow

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched a global competition calling on young people to come up with new ideas to find the best solutions to help Glasgow tackle its high levels of homelessness.

Glasgow, Manchester 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.

The challenge Glasgow entrants have been set is to submit new ideas that can be developed to help cities like Glasgow tackle the city’s high levels of homelessness. Meanwhile, Manchester entrants have been tasked to finding solutions we can use data and technology to better improve residents’ quality of life, whilst London entrants are to come up with ideas on how to improve the city’s air quality.

Known as the Cities for our Future Challenge, the competition is organised in partnership with the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

The 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 and early career surveyors, 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.

Gail Hunter, RICS regional director for Scotland, said: “In 2016, there were almost 6,000 homeless applications made to Glasgow City Council and latest statistics show that there has been a 46% rise in people at risk of homelessness in Glasgow. This is an ever-growing problem and one that shouldn’t exist. With rising rents, hostels and temporary accommodation reaching capacity and freezing winters, homelessness is and will continue to be on the rise, unless we do something about it.

“Therefore, if you are passionate about the health and wellbeing of others and believe there is a solution to this growing issue, this competition is an ideal opportunity to do something about it. A solution to homelessness could not only benefit the residents of Glasgow but those of cities around the world.”

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.”

The closing date to enter the Cities for our Future Challenge is 31 May 2018. Enter via: www.citiesforourfuture.com.