In an effort to improve living standards for workers at one of the Kingdom’s leading industrial parks, Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ) is calling on architects and designers from Cambodia and around the world to submit designs for a project to build 3,000 units of affordable housing.
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The initiative is a partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Building Trust International, a global non-profit that focuses on sustainable design.
The project seeks the development of a community inside the SEZ that meets the basic needs of its residents, including amenities and features such as stores, cafes, daycare centres, clinic and parks.
The competition is open to everyone, with organisers expecting to attract national and international designers, engineers, architects, as well as students.
Nick Beresford, country director for UNDP in Cambodia, says the initiative will contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Cambodia.
Achieving those goals, he said, requires a transition from traditional special economic zones to ‘sustainable’ SEZs, which are “greener, cleaner, more efficient, and offer much needed services to local communities in and around the zones.
“Many of the SDGs’ targets are embedded in the SEZs, such as renewable energy, waste management, decent employment, and especially affordable housing,” he said.
Rapid urbanisation has led to an influx of low-income workers into Phnom Penh, placing a heavy demand on the city to build affordable and sustainable housing, he said
The winner will receive a cash prize of $20,000, while those that come in second, third, fourth and fifth place will each receive $5,000.