Imagine better

The Prize for Urban Ideas is an award given to innovative student projects that aim to improve our cities and make them places that will make our lives and our planet better.

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Our planet, built environment, and urban communities are facing a great deal of stress. Issues of urban inequality, the climate crisis, the physical and mental health pandemic, and the quality of our lives in private and public spaces are just some of the challenges that we face in our cities today.

We can do better than this. A better city can make our lives and our planet better. But it will require our attention, ingenuity, and resources to make it happen. It will also require us, as active members of the community, to power these new solutions together.

This Prize is inspired by the shared beliefs and values of Adib Jalal and the late Mizah Rahman. They had the opportunity to chart new paths in placemaking with Shophouse & Co and participatory design with Participate in Design respectively, but believed that there were many other ideas that needed exploring to make our cities better places. It led them to spend time as educators and mentors, and this prize continues their efforts to support the next generation in a small way.


The Challenge

Projects should address at least TWO of the following urban issues as outlined in the Urban Ideas Manifesto

Active Citizenry

How does it make it easy for people to take action and make meaningful change? How does it give citizens a say in how their city is built, managed, and used?

Better Lives

How will the project tangibly improve the quality of life of citizens (mental & physical health, economic, cultural, etc) ? How will it inspire hope and spark our imagination to lead our multitude of lives and lifestyles?

Circular Systems

How will the project address long-term environmental, social and financial considerations? How does it utilise a systems-thinking approach to create a ripple effect of positive impact?

Democracy & Equity

How does the project provide access and support for underrepresented communities and people with different abilities and needs? How does it attempt to address systemic inequalities?

Ethical Practices

How does it respect and defend environmental and human rights?


  • $1000 cash prize & a paid internship at a selected industry partner. 1
  • 3 x prizes will be awarded by a jury made up of industry practitioners from design, social,and environmental organisations.2


The submitted projects will then be assessed based on the following criterias:

  • Innovation – The creativity of the project in addressing the above urban issues.
  • Impact – The potential of the project to make meaningful positive change to the city and its ability to be scaled or replicated across other communities with similar characteristics.
  • Communication – The clarity, attractiveness, and effectiveness of the selected communication mediums & techniques to present the idea in a succinct and compelling way.
  • CV/Portfolio – Evidence of interest and initiative in being actively involved in related fields and projects
  • Reflection Video – Quality and clarity of verbal presentation


  • Application is open to all final year, full-time students from any academic course from Polytechnic, Junior College, and ITE in Singapore.
  • Both academic projects and personal projects are eligible for submission.
  • Both table-top/academic projects and implemented real-life projects are accepted and will be judged equally.
  • Project must have been completed between the year 2020 and 2022.
  • Projects may take any form and discipline including and not limited to: interior design, architecture, urban design, furniture, print & digital publications, marketing & communications content, engineering solutions, business plan, games, mobile apps, blockchain applications, and more.


  • Documentation of ONE project that demonstrates the qualities defined in the criteria above. This should be a link to a project website, or a download link to the relevant files.
  • A CV and/or Portfolio that includes information about involvement in other relevant activities that is aligned with the values of the Prize.
  • A 45-seconds reflection video on what a “better city” means to you and how your project addresses that. This may also include a personal reflection on what you’ve learnt from working on the project.


Submission will be through a form on this website that will open in January 2022 and close on 1 April 2022. Prize is expected to be awarded in June 2022.3 Sign-up to the newsletter to be updated.


For queries about the prize, partnerships, or further information, please contact:

All info on this page correct as at 4 May 2021. Further notes:

  1. Industry partner and details of internship will be made available at a later date
  2. Jury line-up to be confirmed
  3. Dates are indicative and subject to confirmation