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Urban SOS: hOUR City

By rethinking three deeply intertwined systems — housing, transportation, and economic development — can students strengthen connections between cities and their surrounding regions?

Historically, the boundaries of a city were defined by how far people could travel in one hour, and these boundaries determined the reach of its infrastructure, and its exchanges with surrounding areas.  With the forces of globalization and dramatic geographic, social, and economic shifts, the time has come to reimagine these boundaries and offer new ways for urban, suburban, and rural communities to connect to opportunity.

Presented by AECOM and Van Alen Institute, with 100 Resilient Cities Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, hOUR City is this year’s Urban SOS™ student ideas competition. We’re asking students to propose new solutions to tackle housing, transportation, or economic development challenges and to re-imagine what a future “hour city” boundary can be.

These three systems represent some of the biggest challenges society faces today: How do we increase the supply of high-quality affordable housing? How can we improve mobility to offer greater access to jobs, homes, markets, and services? Can we develop more equitable economies that reach a wider range of people, including those with limited skills and education, and those living in remote rural areas?

Students are encouraged to propose policy strategies, business models, and other solutions to address their chosen challenge, but these proposals must be accompanied by a physical intervention at a specific site in a city within the 100 Resilient Cities network. Students must form a multidisciplinary team of two to five members to enter, and must include students from two disciplines at a minimum. Entrants must be enrolled in a certified program during the 2017 academic year to participate.

Four juries comprised of industry leaders will review submissions and select finalists to advance to a final presentation in Los Angeles in January 2018. A total of US$15,000 in prize money will be distributed among the finalist teams, and the winning team will receive US$25,000 of in-kind support from AECOM to implement a pilot of their proposal.

Registration deadline: July 31, 2017

Final submission deadline: August 13, 2017

For more details on the competition, key dates and the juries, visit the official Urban SOS: hOUR City website.

Urban SOS™ 2017: hOUR City is a project of AECOM and Van Alen Institute, in collaboration with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation.

Urban SOS™ is a trademark of AECOM.