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The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) New South Wales has launched a new competition that aims to drive positive change in cities. Seeking to partner with the industry and the community to create more connected, affordable and liveable cities, UDIA is willing to pay up to $500,000 to help drive this change.

The CityLife Project competition is open to any reputable organisation or company willing to partner with the Institute to deliver practical research that identifies how cities should grow and develop into the future.

UDIA NSW Chief Executive Stephen Albin explains that the State’s centres are feeling the pressure of growth, but which also presents an opportunity to enhance the lives of people in cities. Universities, industry professionals and community groups with a specialisation in city growth can enter the CityLife Project.

The competition focuses on three key areas – Affordable Cities, Connected Cities and Liveable Cities – with entrants able to enter their research ideas in each category for a chance to win $50,000 in research funding plus $95,000 in partnership exposure.

Emphasising the need for ‘big picture thinking’, Mr Albin suggested that a research proposal could focus on what it would take to make Sydney the most sustainable city on the planet, or what should be done now to get centres ready for self-driving cars. The competition seeks ideas for encouraging better health and wellbeing in cities; centres where everyone can easily work, live and play; and cities that people can easily traverse using technology, their feet and transport.

Once completed, the research will be made available to governments and the public, and the Institute will work to realise practical and positive recommendations.