Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meet the Finalists of the Sustainable Urban Housing Competition

On Changemakers.com Web site

We are thrilled to announce 11 finalists chosen from nearly 300 entries in Ashoka’s Changemakers Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities competition.

After careful deliberation, an international panel of expert judges recognized these top finalists as the most innovative, scalable entries that tackle the critical shortage in affordable, sustainable, and inclusive urban housing.

“These finalists’ solutions will stimulate economic growth, combat poverty, and build environmentally savvy, transit-rich, walkable urban cities,” said Benjamin de la Peña, associate director for urban development at the Rockefeller Foundation. “They will unleash economic opportunities for the urban poor by creating inclusive developments around the world for years to come.”

Now we turn the decision over to you. Now through 6 April 2011, YOU can vote to determine the three winners that will be awarded US $10,000 each to continue to build more resilient, livable communities worldwide. The winners will also be showcased at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C in June 2011.

“We were looking specifically for entries that were inclusive, transferable, and sustainable—financially, organizationally, and environmentally,” said Stewart G. Sarkozy-Banoczy, director, philanthropic research and initiatives at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). “Selecting the finalists was especially difficult for the judges, because there were so many fantastic entries that were incredibly innovative and hit all of those marks.”

An initiative of HUD, the U.S. Department of State, and the American Planning Association, and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Sustainable Urban Housing competition was launched in anticipation of the 2012 Summit of the Americas and as part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas (ECPA)

“This competition communicates the necessity of looking for solutions that meet the needs of the urban core,” said Heidi Jane M. Smith, economic analyst at the U.S. Department of State. “And it was particularly exciting to see entries that really showed how Latin America is one of the leading areas in the world for pioneering sustainable urban housing.”

The 11 finalists are:

Sume Materiales (“Incorporate Materials”) - Reutilization of Materials to Facilitate Access to Housing– Argentina

Slum Networking – Transforming Slums and Transcending Poverty without Aid with an Innovative Water and Sanitation Paradigm– India

Developing Real Estate for Squatters and Tenants of the City of Buenos Aires– Argentina

Social Franchising for Development of Sustainable Housing at the Bottom of the Pyramid– Mexico

Programa Bem Morar– Brazil

Kibera Public Space Project: Sustainable Housing through “Productive Public Space”– Kenya

Zero Waste, Sustainable Architecture, Renewable Energy: Unlimited Source of Renewable Materials for Sustainable Housing– Brazil

Green Development Zone– USA

Micro Home Solutions: Safe & Affordable Home Upgrading in Low-Income Urban India – India

Transforming the Low-Income Housing Development Paradigm– Mexico

Building a Culture of Earthquake Resistant Construction Practices Among Day Laborers in Haiti

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