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Resilient cities

A new competition run by Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) and Arup is giving students and recent grads in the UK a chance to win a paid internship with Arup’s International Development group in London.

The competition, entitled Resilient Cities, encourages applicants to identify a city or a part of a city that they consider to be resilient and to research and analyse what is it resilient to  (i.e. which shocks – e.g. floods and earthquakes, and stresses – e.g. heat and drought), how it demonstrates resilience, and to explain why it stands out as a case study.

How Resilient Cities came about

This is the competition’s first year. Arup and EWB-UK have a strategic partnership that a small group of volunteers at Arup run and one of the key aims has been to engage students and young professionals in built environment issues relating to international development. From this the idea for a design competition was born.

“We’ve linked up with Arup’s International Development group, so that the entrants will be working on a real project brief which the winner can further develop,” competition coordinator Ralph Wilson notes.

The final submission must be made up of two parts, a response to the brief formatted across two A3 posters, plus a two page note – a maximum of 1,000 words in length - that allows applicants to submit a supporting narrative to describe the city they have chosen. This should include additional details, references and depth to support the posters.

“The main driver is to promote development issues to the next generation of built environment, and potential built environment professionals,” explains Wilson. “It is hoped that the competition will incite a discussion – through Arup, universities and beyond – about what resilience is, and how cities can share their successes and failures to improve it.”

“Entrants will be assessed on their conceptual clarity, graphical communication and academic rigour. We are looking for a thorough and methodical approach to the assessment of the chosen city, presented in a visually engaging way,” Wilson explains.

The prize

The winning prize is a four-week paid internship within Arup’s International Development (ID) group in London, where the winner will continue their research, analysing and synthesising the shortlisted competition entries to identify common themes, gaps and anomalies. They will work closely with a member of the Arup ID team to develop a publishable product that captures and compiles the research on Resilient Cities.

All shortlisted entrants will receive commendation letters and have their worked exhibited and all entrants will be invited to an awards ceremony with talks from leading industry experts.

Wilson highlights how taking part in this competition can make a difference to student and graduate engineers just entering the industry.

“The winner will experience working on a real project in a commercial environment and will get to experience firsthand the dynamics of working for a non-profit international development organisation, and get exposure to the breadth of work carried out,” he highlights.

“Aside from the knowledge gained in completing the competition task, the shortlisted entrants will receive commendation letters and have their worked exhibited which will look strong on any job application. All entrants will be invited to the awards ceremony which will give them a chance to discuss the topic and network with professionals and interested individuals,” he adds.

Want to get involved?

Those interested in taking part have until 17 February to express their interest in the competition and provide a short synopsis. The final submission date for entries is 6 April.

Head to the official Resilient Cities website to find out more information or apply for the competition.

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