Challenge completed
How can we drive down the cost of construction and rehabilitation in dense urban areas?

Description and Objectives

The lack of adequate, affordable housing undermines social inclusion, equality, people’s health and well-being, as well as sustainability. Barcelona City Council and the City of New York are committed to tackling this challenge as stated in the “Declaration of Local Governments for the Right to Housing and the Right to the City”.

Building on these efforts, the Barcelona City Council and the City of New York are issuing a call for innovative technologies and tools to drive down the cost of construction and rehabilitation in dense urban areas, thereby making housing more affordable for all.

With rising land and construction costs, Barcelona and New York must find ways to get more from every dollar/euro invested in affordable housing, and to deliver housing faster to families in need. The application of innovative construction methods, the use of alternative and sustainable materials, and new planning and cost management systems are potential ways to make housing more affordable. Through the BCN-NYC Affordable Housing Challenge, these cities are keen to embrace today’s cutting-edge technology and techniques to shorten project timelines, reduce costs, and promote cleaner and more sustainable industry.


Challenge prizes

The BCN – NYC Affordable Housing Challenge finalists will be presented in March 2019 at a public event in Barcelona, and the winner will be announced at Smart Cities New York in May 2019. The winner will have the opportunity to pitch their proposal in front of relevant municipal officers of Barcelona City Council and the City of New York.

The winner will receive up to $20,000 to demonstrate the technology at relevant project sites in Barcelona and/or New York City. If appropriate, the technology could be implemented at a larger scale through a partnership with an affordable housing developer.





The CAH-ATRI joint proposal is the result of collaboration between Colombia National University's “Construction Systems for Affordable Housing” project and Straddle 3 Barcelona’s ”Innovation for Social Inclusion” project. It is an approach based on increasing the city’s housing density by making use of the empty spaces that can still be found in it. This includes renovating existing buildings and making new housing without affecting the land, using new economical building techniques that are light, adaptable and quick to execute. The proposal also allows housing to be built suspended in the air, with few ground supports, and even to renovate run-down or underused parts of the city, such as motorways, ports and transport stations.

CAH i ATRI, guanyadors del repte BCN-NYC sobre habitatge assequible, presenten la seva proposta


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