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A two-day competition for university students to share their vision on how public space design can improve quality of life in our communities.

Learn more and join the challenge



We know what design can do. Design has the power to generate transcendental changes. In the Education Group of UNESCO Cities of Design, we are working to make this power visible.

As creators of models, prototypes, and ideas, designers operate in the dynamic space between our current reality and the future we aspire to. Guided by the knowledge from the past and informed by the present, their work shapes the trajectory of our collective journey towards sustainability. With the dedicated efforts of the organising cities—Curitiba, Wuhan, and Querétaro —the Cities of Design Subnetwork is committed to nurturing international cooperation and promoting interdisciplinary pathways. Our goal is to underscore the transformative potential of design and its ability to democratize urban spaces. Inspired by this vision and in response to the pressing need for climate action, we have opened the call for the UNESCO Creative Cities to participate in the fourth edition of the Street Design Challenge. Scheduled to run on the days prior to the World Habitat Day to be held in Queretaro, this initiative is a global observance aimed at raising awareness about the importance of sustainable urban development, adequate housing, and access to basic amenities. This annual event provides an opportunity to reflect on the state of our cities and towns and to advocate for positive changes that promote better living conditions for all. World Habitat Day calls for action to address housing challenges, urban inequality, and environmental sustainability. The preliminary results of the Street Design Challenge 2024 will be showcased during the WHD 2024. The theme for this year’s Challenge, “Creative Community Markets: Revitalizing Streets through Local Innovation” seeks to harness the creative potential of young designers to reimagine streets as vibrant marketplaces that reflect and enhance the social fabric of their communities. We firmly believe in the transformative power of design and its potential to foster meaningful changes. By launching this challenge, we aim to amplify the voices of designers in our collective effort against inequality and social disgregation and highlight the pivotal role of design in forging a sustainable future. By collaborating, we can envision and actualize a better future for all.


Bring your team together to craft a holistic proposal for a healthier and more harmonious future for one street, one community, one city.

Kicking off on 28th September 2024, the Street Design Challenge aims to address the decisive role of public markets to provide benefits such as economic opportunities, links between urban and rural economies, strenghten of social cohesion, promotion of public health, creation of active public spaces and neighborhood renewal. What sets public markets aside from other retail locations is that they operate in public space, serve locally owned and operated businesses, and have public goals. This focus on the public good is what makes successful markets grow and connect urban and rural economies. They encourage community and economic development by keeping money in the local neighborhood. During the challenge, interdisciplinary groups of university students, mentored by their professors, will collaborate on developing a proposal to foster local economy and community interaction in a foreign city street. Participating teams must consider various factors such as local climate, geography, socio-economic context, and cultural backgrounds in order to create a comprehensive and effective urban and cultural landscape intervention. IThe 2024 theme for the Street Design Challenge invites student groups from architecture, urbanism, and design disciplines to reimagine streets as vibrant marketplaces that not only serve as hubs for selling locally produced, crafted, and designed items but also as platforms for addressing social issues within the community. By modernizing existing markets or creating new ones in underdeveloped areas, participants will explore innovative design solutions for vendor tents, store furniture, visitor flow, and the overall sales experience. The goal is to reinforce or cultivate a sense of community culture and belonging, leveraging the creative economy to transform streets into inclusive, dynamic spaces that foster local entrepreneurship and social cohesion. Each team will be paired with a street from another participating city and provided with an in- depth briefing from a local expert. This briefing will outline the current situation, challenges, and priorities that the proposal should address. Once the challenge commences, teams will have 48 hours to submit their projects in the specified format.


We are seeking cities who wish to join the challenge by providing a street profile and engaging with local universities. There is no limit to the number of universities or teams that will participate. More details are available in the Concept Note, available below.


Download here the document with more details about the challenge and register to participate when you're ready!


18 August

Call to cities


13 October




13 October

Creative Cities'



28-30 October

Challenge days

13 October

Street profile



2 December


of winner




Queretaro 2.jpg

If you're the focal point or official representative, register your city's participation here.

Focal points or city representatives should use the link below to upload the Street Profile.

If you're responsible for registering your university's team, use the link below.

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