The City of the Future: An Urban Design Competition

The Take Back the City coalition has launched a competition open to all architects, planners and urban designers to present their vision for an inclusive and climate-friendly Belfast.

Are you an architect, planner or urban design consultant? The Take Back the City coalition invites you to participate in our design competition for ‘The City of the Future.’

Submit your strategic urban design for an inclusive and sustainable community on the 25-acre former Mackie’s site in Belfast before 18th July 2022. The winning entry will receive a £10,000 GBP prize as well as the opportunity to take their design forward to masterplan stage. 

Take Back the City (TBTC) was formed in 2021 to advance the case for building homes on publicly owned land in Belfast as a way of tackling the growing social housing waiting list. Our work, including this competition, is generously funded by the Oak Foundation.

The coalition is made up of families in housing need supported by experts in housing development, technology, communications, permaculture, housing policy, planning, human rights and equality. We have led a trail-blazing participatory process to identify available public land and develop the principles under which it should be used.

We recently published our ground breaking interactive mapping tool of Belfast, presenting  for the first time the complexities of housing need, inequality, deprivation, investment, vacant public land, sectarian divisions and projected climate impacts in one place.  Watch the film to see our campaign in action here.

There is no such thing as impossible! The status quo is not an option if we are to respond the challenges of our time in a way which promotes peace, equality and sustainability. We believe that Belfast can be transformed into a sustainable city where every child has a home. We want to see bold, optimistic and visually compelling entries, which embody the vision developed by homeless families and experts in consultation with community and government stakeholders. You can find the competition brief with all the relevant information here. The closing date for all entries is 5pm (GMT) on Monday 18th July.

Interested in taking part?

Simply complete our online form to express your interest. We’ll be in touch with instructions on how to submit your entry.

If you have any questions on the brief, please contact Avril Dennison, Assistant Director: Operations at Participation and the Practice of Rights on

This blog was originally posted on PPR’s website, here.

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