According to the UN Habitat figures, population in urban areas in less developed countries will grow from 1.9 billion in 2000 to 3.9 billion in 2030. This surge in the numbers of dwellers will put a strain on the existing infrastructures, worsen living conditions, create unsanitary environments and carve out slums and disaster prone sites. The threat from unplanned, unbridled and uncoordinated urban development results is real and looms over many cities. Hence it becomes urgent for policy makers to manage urbanization as it occurs by implementing effective land-use management, providing reliable and affordable access to basic services, education, housing, transport and health. We need a collective effort in ensuring a viable future.

Activistar Advocacy believes that we can start shaping the sustainable development thinkers; motivating the innovators and inspiring the practitioners of the future through education for sustainability. This city planning competition will facilitate participants to understand what are the current and future challenges that the developing countries are experiencing under the pressure of rapid urbanization with the number of city dwellers and migrants swelling. They will appreciate the work of relevant authorities and leaders in managing the many interconnected tenets of urban development and planning.

This international township planning competition – The Young Mayor Competition - hopes to nurture youth leaders for a sustainable future.

Activistar's first Assembly Series of 5 cities (2011-2016) features Hanoi, Iskandar Malaysia, Yangon, Manila and Jakarta. These are populous epicentres of commerce, of historical significance, hold political legacies and significant in their own period. The second Assembly Series of the next 5 cities begins with Phnom Penh (2017), and will offer all participants a fresh look of South East Asia.


The theme for 2017 for Planning a Clean and Green City competition is "Phnom Penh Rising". Targeted at youth leaders between 14 - 26 years old. We are inviting teams from the whole Southeast Asia, and especially students from the case-study country to participate. This is in line with our vision to reach out to as many youths as possible because the sustainability message is universal and is beyond borders. Also we want to encourage cross border exchanges among youths to increase knowledge and cultural exchange. Besides coaching in urban planning domains, we have added field trips to enhance the appreciation for Phnom Penh and to invite all our participating countries to visit Singapore to see some of the urban solutions that Singapore has already embraced as an urban laboratory.

Case study for The Young Mayor Competition 2017

Phnom Penh Rising”

The Phnom Penh Masterplan (since 1954) presents much opportunity for commerce and economic revitalisation. Formerly the Paris of the East, the city has previously degenerated into the dark ages of civil war, political unrest and revolution, literally wiping out much of it's Indochina legacy. Nonetheless, there is a resurgence in optimism and enterprise, judging by the new gleaming and still climbing residential towers on Diamond Island, new airport terminal, road improvements and more. Phnom Penh still has it's fair share of bullet scarred art deco buildings, old markets and heritage districts.  Phnom Penh is not a sprawling metropolis, it is easy to orientate and has a compact low-rise/high-density urban plan. Somehow, it's intersections, roundabouts and arterial road system conjure up a tight urban fabric - creating a very balanced scale. It is a city to be experienced at the human scale, it is safer than western cities at night and it is definitely Rising!    

The questions you want to examine will be how to:

1. Revive its economic vitality and sustainability. Your team must illustrate some broad policy for this city which may aid in the economic agenda of generating growth for its citizens so as to raise the quality of life through employment, while undertaking the pressing needs for housing, transport, waste management, health, environment quality, commercial activities and other infrastructural requirements.

2. Attract residents, businesses and tourists back. Take into consideration any or all of the sustainability principles in terms of social, economic and environmental aspects. For instance the problem of vagrants and informal settlers, poorly managed traffic, transport and parking systems, floods, unusable sidewalks.

3. Formulate strategies and plans for implementation for this area. Propose a viable plan with unique ideas, timeline and resources needed. Taking into account legislative, cultural and financial status of the city. Given that the players and the pieces are in motion and ideas are plentiful and problems are surmounting, your proposal should also examine the probabilities of why it can or cannot be implemented, while illustrating a distinct visionary leadership qualities.

4. Undertake a scenario planning exercise in "visioning" what future conditions and events are probable, what their consequences or effects would be like and how to respond or benefit from them. Example: Taking into account political changes, coups and renewal.

5. Suggest any ground-up initiatives and nation-building campaigns that can overcome issues of displacement, over-development and pollution. Suggest soft policies (i.e. ways to incentivise your approach)

Competition Question: 
Refer to Competition Details

When is it happening?
01-02 April 2017

Where is the Competition Held?

What are the Prizes? 

Contact Us
Activistar Pte Ltd
22 Sin Ming Lane #06-76
Singapore 573969
Web: www.activistar-ads.com
Email: join.us@activistar.com
Tel: +65 66121073 or +65 92974279

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