This post is part of the World Population Day series. You can find the other stories here and here.
Urban Population boom is a challenge all over the world. The United Nations Population Division estimates that two-thirds of the population will be living in cities by the year 2050. In particular, rapid urbanization will take place in Africa and Asia, which can be regarded as an opportunity for improving life conditions in many countries.
To deal with the demand for new and sustainable developments, a very interesting building competition took place in the US some yers ago and has now a new edition, this time on the outskirts of Paris: The Solar Decathlon. Universities from all over the world have built full-scale solar-powered houses to be presented to juries and the public. The 2014 Solar Decathlon competition is taking place in Verasilles, France, with a focus on six different issues concerning sustainability: density, mobility, sobriety, innovation, affordability and local context. The competition section open to the public started on the 28th of June and will end on the 14th of July (tomorrow); meanwhile, winning teams have been announced for each of the ten awards, which include for example “Urban Design, Transportation and Affordability”, “Energy Efficiency” or “Comfort Conditions”, amongst others. For the final decisions, the juries had to bear in mind that renewable energy supplies are required, but more importantly that the demand for energy should be controlled and limited. Also, the rules of the contest point to the need for affordability, which should “remain the key issue for applicable sustainable urban solutions”. Check the video below with a report from this year’s Solar Decathlon Competition: