ESSAY COMPETITION: Shape the City of Your Dreams

Posted on 20 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Awards & Honors, Call for Nominations or Applications, Call for Papers, Fellowships & Scholarships, Urban Development, youth | Tags: , , , , |

WANTED: YOUR practical ideas for improving the city you live in.

The International Essay Competition 2008 for young people aged 18 to 25 has been launched. The theme is “Shaping the City of Your Dreams.” Essays can be submitted in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, or Portuguese. The maximum allowed length for each essay is 10 pages (4,000 words). Cash prizes are available for $5000 or $1000.

Participating youth may be either students or non-students. Ph.D. (doctorate) students are NOT eligible.

Essays may be submitted until March 23, 2008.

Finalists will be announced April 30, 2008. Finalists will be invited to attend the ABCDE Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, in June 2008. All travel expenses for finalists will be paid by the World Bank. The final winners will be selected and awarded on June 11, 2008.

This competition could be an opportunity for a young adult with disabilities in a developing country to win recognition for their ideas.

This competition is not specific to disability issues. But perhaps participants could consider focusing their essay on how their city could be made more accessible to disabled people. If this interests you, then you might find it helpful to research the concept of “universal design.” Other We Can do blog posts relevant to universal design include one about New Delhi improving its accessibility and another about a free, on-line book on universal deisgn and visitability.

For ideas on how to find further informational resources on universal design or other topics related to people with disabilities, try consulting Tips and leads on finding academic research, paper, resources, or statistics. Of course, also try searching at or your preferred search engine.

More information about the essay competition can be found at:

Be sure to read the FAQ and rules carefully before submitting your essay. Participants should also carefully read more detail about the three questions that each essay is expected to answer.

It is critical that you write a good-quality abstract (short summary) for your essay. Abstracts will be used to help the judges pre-select essays for the competition. Read all the instructions at carefully.

Participants can submit your essays on-line at

One of the questions on their application form asks where you learned about their competition. When you answer this question, please be sure to click “other” and tell them that you learned about their competition at

Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nazimani for alerting me (and others) to this competition. I researched most of the detail for this blog post at the essay competition web site.

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