The challenges that follow a fast urbanization are immense – from ensuring housing and infrastructure, to acknowledging and solving the environmental impact of such rapid urbanization. This is why BLOXHUBAlexandra Institute and Ars Electronica have started a new international prize award for ideas that can help tackle the challenges described by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 11 (ed. SDG11 goal).

Designers, architects and similar from all over the world are invited through an open call to apply for an award. Below are outlined some of the concerns about the future development within urban planning, coming from the mouth of Indy Johar, founder of London-based Project 00 and Prix BLOXHUB Interactive jury member.

“We have to start with recognizing the scale of the challenge we face. This is not just a challenge, this is the challenge. And we’ve got a very little amount of time to solve it”, he says.

Housing a quarter billion people
Around 250,000,000 people homeless: This is the number that Indy Johar forecasts will be a reality in the year 2050 if we do nothing about environmental degradation and climate change, and if we do not meet the criteria of the UN goals.

“That’s more homeless people than World War II caused. This is the scale of the devastation we are in the middle of”, says Indy Johar.

The first goal of SDG11 is to ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and to upgrade slums.

Using architecture and design
Indy Johar points out that changing the structures of the city and having a successful transformation is where design and architecture can play a fundamental role.

“Our cities are facing a grand transition – a perfect storm of climate change, automation, inequality and demographic shifts. This transition requires us to deeply remake our Cities fit for the 21st Century”, he states and continues:

“We will see a reconfiguration of how we build, whether it’s a building or an environment, the change is going to be massive and we have to rethink the way we use architecture and design”, which is also why he accepted the invitation of joining the jury of the award:

“I am delighted to be part of this ground-breaking initiative to push the discussion and re-imagination of liveability and the remaking our cities in the face of this structural transition.”

Excellence and Concepts
The Prix BLOXHUB Interactiveis divided into two categories. The Excellence category is about what we have learned from an existing project while the second category, Concept, is about the next big thing. The Concept category is specifically dedicated to tomorrow’s hybrid and trans-disciplinary projects and approaches towards the design of public space, with an aim to design a space that will welcome and embrace interdependent communities of people of all ages, genders and cultures.

To learn more or to enter this open call prize competition, please visit prix.bloxhub.org

Solution Launch Pad for Better Cities
BLOXHUB is an urban innovation hub that brings together companies, organizations and researchers to co-create solutions for better cities. BLOXHUB is founded on the belief that the challenges of global urbanization and climate change require a new collaborative approach. With more than 230 members, including companies such as Gehl Architects, C40 Cities, Institute for Urban Economic Research, The Danish Design Centre and the Danish Architecture Centre, BLOXHUB is set to be a Nordic launchpad for future urban solutions and a gateway to the Danish and Nordic markets for international companies.