Dencity Competition 2017 to Improve Informal Settlements

Publish Date: Jan 26, 2017

Deadline: Mar 13, 2017

Shelter Global is pleased to invite architects, planners, students, engineers, designers, thinkers, NGOs and organizations from all over the world to take part in the 2017 Dencity Competition. 

The world’s population is rapidly growing and places all over the world are having to adapt with an unprecedented increase in urbanization. Towns are quickly growing into cities, and some of the densest places in the world are comprised of makeshift homes, otherwise referred to as slums. Right now, well over 1 billion people around the world live in slums. This number is rapidly growing and it is expected to reach 2 billion by the year 2030.

Design has always played a tremendous role in generating new ideas for the future. Now, more than ever, we need to turn our focus to cities and play a central role in the development of substandard neighborhoods. Slums effect much more than just housing; they affect almost all living conditions and communities as a whole.

The intent of this competition is to foster new conceptual ideas about how to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities. Contestants should consider how design can empower communities and allow for a self-sufficient future.

For this years competition, the focus will be on improving living conditions in urban settings. There are no restrictions in regards to site, program, or size. Projects can be based on a specific urban location or a general concept. The object is to limit constraints and give participants the freedom to think in the most creative way possible. Submissions do not need to be created exclusively for the Dencity Competition, but should not have been submitted or published elsewhere.


Submission Requirements

2 Project Boards

2 horizontal project boards at 24(h)” x 48(w)" at high quality (150 dpi). You may include, but are not limited to sitemaps, drawings, elevations, sections, photographs, renderings or anything else that may help illustrate your idea. Each board must also include your Dencity Competition ID in the upper right hand corner.

1 Text Document 

A text .doc sized 8.5” x 11”, between 750-1500 words, with a language requirement of English. This document must help explain your project boards. You may include this text within your boards, but it is not required. The text file must also include your Dencity Competition ID in the upper right hand corner.

Team Biographies 

Team member biographies must be included for each person participating. You may use any standard text file format. Please include the names of all participants with a short paragraph about their background. Also include each person's profession, email address, home address, phone number and Dencity Competition ID.

Everything above should be included in a zip file and sent to You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of submitting your entry. If you do not receive a confirmation within 24 hours feel free to contact us.

*All submissions are due by 11:59 pm EST on April 24, 2017.


  • 1st Place: $3,000
  • 2nd Place: $1,500
  • 3rd Place: $750

*There will also be 6 special mentions. Winners and special mentions will be published in several international online magazines as well as the Shelter website.



Architects, students, engineers, designers, thinkers, NGOs and organizations are all invited to participate in this competition. No professional qualifications are necessary. Interdisciplinary teams are also encouraged to join.

  • Registration Fee is $55/project
  • Standard registration opens January 09, 2017
  • Standard registration closes March 13, 2017
  • Late registration goes until April 24, 2017 at midnight and is $80
  • All submissions are due by 11:59 pm EST on April 24, 2017
  • Participants may submit multiple projects, but must register each entry
  • Individual entries are allowed. All teams are limited to 4 people maximum
  • Register online on the official website.

You will receive a registration number immediately after your application has been submitted. The registration number will be necessary to submit to the competition.

Rules and Regulations 

1.  The official language of the competition is English. All projects must be submitted in English
2.  The registration fee is nonrefundable
3.  Contacting any member of the Jury is prohibited
4.  Shelter Global, as the organizer of the competition, has the right to modify the competition schedule
5.  Entrants will be disqualified from the competition if any of the rules are broken
6.  Participation assumes acceptance of the rules and regulations

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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