About the WAN Urban Challenge 2017

London, as a world city is not alone in having a housing crisis. The severe shortage of affordable homes has rarely been out of mainstream media in recent months. In simple terms, the population is rising faster than housing supply, leaving a gap.

However, a growing body of experts in London are citing a Perfect Storm of conditions on the near horizon, which could provide a unique, once-in-a-lifetime climate for delivering a record number of housing units to the London boroughs.

Harnessing this opportunity, in media partnership with Planning, NLA and World Cities Network, WAN is taking the bull by the horns and has developed a three part framework to bring the best of urban housing design from around the world and present to members of the London Assembly at city hall on the 23rd May 2017.

Phase one: Global Ideas Competition

Open to architects worldwide, WAN challenges you to submit ideas bringing new and innovative solutions to the table. There will be four winners of the competition who will be invited to join a task force at the event on 23 May, as well as the established benefits of winning the WAN AWARDS. Full details of the competition here.

Phase two: Task Force

A full day dedicated to working groups and presentations to help solve the problem at hand. Drawing from a range of countries, expertise and practices, we will assemble a Task Force of like-minded visionaries who can not only bring innovation and creativity but also practicality to the table to discuss and work towards a solution.

25 international experts will be invited and split into four working groups:

  • Social
  • Economic
  • Governance
  • Innovation

Each working group will focus on the challenge presented by London’s housing gap through their respective viewpoint.

Phase three: Housing Symposium

After careful consideration, we have decided to postpone the London Housing Symposium to a later date, as a direct response to the snap election. This final part of the 2017 Urban Challenge will take place in London in September. Details to published in the next few days.

'The “Perfect Storm” window has been brought about by a cocktail of conditions; a faltering high end marketplace, a new mayor with different priorities for London, new technology and a radical new government housing policy.' - Michael Hammond, Editor in Chief, World Architecture News

Michael Hammond