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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.).

Who can participate?

The International Essay Competition is open to all young people, students and non-students alike, between the ages of 18 and 25 (born between 1983 - 1990). Essays should be submitted by individuals.

Length and format

Your essay may not be longer than 10 pages (4000 words maximum), 1.5 line-spaced.

You are required to provide an abstract of no more than one page. An abstract is a short summary in which you explain the aim, the methodology, the reasoning and the main conclusions of your paper. The abstract will be used by the jury to make a pre-selection. You may submit your paper and abstract in English, French, Spanish, Arabic or Portuguese.


Awards include:

• A grand prize of $5,000
• Runner-up prizes of $1,000

Authors of the best essays (finalists) will be invited to participate in the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE) in Cape Town, South Africa.

For further details check the essay competition website

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