January 28, 2008

COMPETITIONS / OPPORTUNITIES: International Essay Competition 2008 - Shaping the City of Your Dreams

WANTED: Your Practical Ideas

Shaping the City of Your Dreams

In 2007, for the first time in human history, the majority of people in the world, particularly in developing countries, will be living in urban areas. Life in the city is often associated with more opportunities, better access to employment, education, health and other services. Cities are often called engines of economic growth, contributing disproportionately to the national gross domestic product (GDP). They are also centers of innovation, entrepreneurship and investment. But many cities also have a large part of their population living in slums, without essential services such as water, sanitation and energy, and threatened by environmental hazards, violence and social exclusion. As more and more people move from the countryside to the city, and as city populations grow, there is a growing need for solutions to the issues of urban poverty, environment, and urban infrastructure (housing, roads, water, energy etc.).

What can you do to shape the city of your dreams?

Please answer all three questions below:

1) Think about the city you live in. What are the biggest opportunities and challenges for people living there?

2) What needs to be done to transform your city into the city of your dreams?

3) What could be your role, working together with your peers, in shaping the city of your dreams? Please focus on one or two points you mentioned in question 2).

You may use some of the points below to structure your answer:

If you have been personally involved in concrete initiatives, write specifically about your experience:

Who have you worked with? Who have you helped? What have you accomplished? In what way would you consider this work to be innovative? How have you measured the results of your work?

Looking ahead:
How would you expand or improve the impact of your work? How can other youth replicate your experience?

If you don’t have practical experience, write specifically about your ideas:
How would you work with your peers to shape the city of your dreams?

MORE INFO AT: http://www.essaycompetition.org/

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