Idea to transform car parks into overnight homeless accommodation

An initiative to help provide safe overnight accommodation for homeless people by repurposing public spaces - such as car parks - outside of office hours, has made the shortlist of RICS' Cities for our Future competition.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th July 2018, 10:28 am
Updated Thursday, 26th July 2018, 10:32 am

Those behind it are now in with a chance of seeing their idea brought to-life across cities in Yorkshire and Humber, and winning the prize of £50,000.

The idea is the brainchild of young construction professionals Soran and Saman Shanapur, and proposes converting car parks into overnight homeless shelters to provide safe accommodation. The proposal also involves providing homeless people with a portable closet in which they can store personal effects that can be moved to the location where they will be sleeping on a given night. While, the creation of a mobile app would enable homeless people to reserve accommodation in advance.

The scheme is one of 12 ideas that have made the global competition’s shortlist, from over 1,200 entries, and could be rolled out across all UK cities where homelessness is a key problem, including those in Yorkshire and Humber, should it be chosen as the overall winner.

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Soran Shangapur said: “Converting car parks to become temporary homeless shelters overnight is simple, cost effective and is an idea that could be implemented in all cities. Saman and I both feel passionately about the need to support people living on the streets and we are delighted that our idea is one of the final twelve.”

The RICS Cities for our Future competition launched earlier this year to encourage young people from around the world to address the challenges facing the world’s cities, and provide innovative ideas to create real, practical solutions that cities can implement to overcome the challenges they face, such as homelessness.

The next step in the Cities for our Future competition run by RICS, in partnership with the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, will see each of the 12 finalists given an RICS mentor to help them develop their concepts into a viable project in advance of the final judging in November.

Amanda Clack, Head Judge of the regional judging panel for the UK and Head of Strategic Consulting, CBRE Ltd said: “Homelessness is a major challenge that affects every major city. This idea uniquely tackles this issue, as well as the competition’s brief, providing simple, scalable policy that can be applied to a number of cities around the UK and the wider world.”

Among the other 12 global shortlisted projects is an idea to reduce air pollution by companies installing air purification towers on top of their office premises, proposed by Megan Burke in Ireland, who targeted London in the first instance; Heat Island Limited, a multidisciplinary design team from the London in the UK, proposed retrofitting existing buildings in African cities with 3D printed porous insulation. The panels would improve liveability and reduce energy consumption for cooling and ventilation and was named the African winner.

The overall winner will be announced at a black-tie awards ceremony in November.