RICS announces winner of ‘Cities for our Future’ competition


November 26, 2018 – Earl Patrick Forlales will work with RICS experts and industry professionals to start work on the project next year

Manila is one of the fastest growing megacities in East Asia, with a population of 12 million people. The city will soon be at breaking point, with an additional 2.5 million workers moving to the city in the next three years to work on the government’s infrastructure programme, a statement from RICS said. These workers will join the four million Manilans who live in slums.

Forlales is said to have designed a new type of modular housing, which can be used to house the incoming worker population in the short term, before being applied to the rest of the city’s slum community. According to RICS, the housing is affordable (at just $77 per sqm) and fast to build (four hours per unit).

Earl chose to use bamboo for CUBO’s construction, drawing inspiration from his grandparent’s bamboo house and thanks to its abundant availability. The material is also environmentally friendly, with waste used as a resource (converted into, amongst other things, biochar). The material is treated and laminated and thus is said to have a lifecycle that’s 10 times as long as normal bamboo.

“This is a huge step forward to helping the people of Manila. The state of housing in the city is at crisis point and will undoubtedly get worse with this new influx of workers. CUBO started as nothing more than an idea, conceived while spending time at my grandparent’s house – it is incredible to think that it now will become a reality. I would like to thank RICS for the opportunity to develop the idea and look forward to working with them to put this money to good use in Manila, and then hopefully elsewhere around the world,” said Forlales.

Forlales will now work with RICS experts and industry professionals to begin work on the project next year, utilising RICS standards and best practice to ensure that it is delivered quickly to change the lives of the population of Manila. RICS said that Forlales has already identified a suitable plot of land to begin construction, with the hope that it will be used in other cities facing similar crises.

John Hughes, competition head judge and president of RICS added, “The world’s cities are growing all the time and there is a real need to make sure they are safe, clean and comfortable places to live for future generations. There were many exciting, original designs among the submissions, however Earl’s idea stood out for its simple, yet well thought through solution to the world’s growing slum problem. As we look at our entrants, who are our next generation of leaders, I believe that real progress will be made in tackling the world’s biggest issues.”

The competition was run by RICS and supported by the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. The competition is said to have received over 1,200 entries since its launch in January this year.



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