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UHPH Contest 2021: Shelter Technologies


UHPH Platform within the framework of the 4th Latin American and Caribbean Housing and Habitat Forum: "ACTION FOR HOUSING AND SETTLEMENTS FACING COVID 19", to be held on May 17-21, 2021, announces the closing of the call for application in categories 1. Public Policies and 2. Inspirational Practices and is pleased to announce the call for applications for category 3. Shelter Technologies (ShelterTech Award)

We seek to reward initiatives that would contribute to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (SDO No. 11), projecting the post-pandemic reactivation and the sustainable transformation of housing and urban habitat, towards a more inclusive, resilient and healthy future. Priority consideration will be given to innovations that can be expanded, replicated and scaled to increase the impact on low-income households and communities



Category open for applications: 


We are inviting enterprises (from startups to scaleups), entrepreneurs, organizations and innovation agencies to submit technological solutions (products or services) which respond in an innovative manner to the challenges and opportunities in the affordable housing market. We are seeking technologies that reduce costs and favors the access of vulnerable and excluded groups to quality housing and a sustainable habitat, with at least a minimum viable product and a customer or business validation and that contributes to the transformation of housing, settlements and cities in (post-pandemic) recovery.

The application will require descriptive and strategic information about the technology, considering:

  • General characterization: how it works, who are current and potential users, how does it benefit them, how has the technology been validated, level of maturity, to what sectors it impacts (construction materials, labor, energy, water and sanitation, financing, among others).
  • Strategic elements: why is this technology relevant for low-income households, what characteristics set it apart and make it innovative compared to other existing alternatives, what are some metrics that can be used to measure the technology´s application and impact on users, communities and the environment, contribution to COVID-19 response. 

Awards and Benefits

The Shelter Technologies category will award four technology innovations and will be recognized in a special ceremony during the 4th Latin American and Caribbean Housing and Habitat Forum: Actions for housing and settlements facing COVID. In addition, one of the four winners in each category will be chosen to receive a “Best in Show” award.

Each winner will receive:

  • Funding of up to US$ 4,000 for a technical visit, course, internship, or to receive technical assistance services to get to learn about another practice or experience, or to access international expertise or advice of interest that will contribute to strengthen and scale their initiative.
  • Presentation and award of the initiative at the 4th Housing and Habitat Forum, to be held in May 2021.
  • Inclusion in the “Top 100 Global Housing Innovations Award” and participate in the international recognition ceremony tentatively scheduled to take place at the end of 2021.
  • Publication on the UHPH digital platform, becoming part of the collection of the network's Public Policies and Inspirational Practices.

Additionally, the winner “Best in Show” will receive a surprise award.

Key Dates

All applications must be submitted before March 1st, 2021, at 23:59:59 (Central American Time).

  Start End
Application period January 15, 2021 March 1st, 2021
Expert jury evaluation period February 22, 2021 March 15, 2021
Announcement of the 10 finalists March 19, 2021  
Grand Premiere - Technology Innovation Finalists April 19, 2021  
Voting period, open to the public April 19, 2021 May 10, 2021
Announcement of the 4 winners May 12, 2021  
4th Housing and Habitat Forum and Award Ceremony May 17, 2021 May 21, 2021

How to apply?

1. All applications must be submitted using the form available at If you want to download the form before submitting, do it here:

Shelter Technologies category application 

2. Submissions can be presented in Spanish, English or Portuguese.

3. Each organization can apply for more than one initiative and participate in the different categories of the contest that best fit their profile.

You can download the complete contest rules here 


  • Adriana Chávez


    Holds a Master's degree in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology and a Master's degree in Architecture II, both from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She is the co-founder of ORU, Office of Urban Resilience, an urban and landscape design practice.

  • Elsa Díaz


    Urban Architect with experience in socio-spatial analysis and participatory urban design with a focus on gender perspective. Co-founder of PUBLICA, an urban collective that explores practices, methodologies and tools to support daily life and care through just urban spaces and systems.

  • Fabricio Espinosa


    PhD. in Geography from UNAM. His research specializes in housing, quality of life, habitability, urban mobilities, urban imaginaries and geographies of everyday life. Since 2019 member of the Evaluation Group of the National Housing Award convened by SEDATU and CONAVI.

  • Laura Janka


    Architect from UNAM and Urban Design at Harvard. Since 2007 linked to urban development issues. In 2015 she founded l-o-c-a-l, a collaborative platform with projects of spatial transformation and citizen and institutional strengthening. Since 2020 she participates in Social Urbanism - Pact for Fairer Cities in São Paulo.

  • María Silvia Emanuelli


    Lawyer from Universidad Statale de Milán, Masters in Latin American Studies at UNAM. Specialized in human rights, she has collaborated with Amnesty International, with the Center for Justice and International Law and with the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg (France). Since 2003 she has worked at Habitat International Coalition, Latin America Office.

  • Nelida Escobedo


    Architect from Tecnológico de Monterrey and Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan. She specializes in issues related to sustainable urban development, urban project management and affordable housing. Coordinator of the northern region of the C+Lab platform of Tecnológico de Monterrey.

  • Roberto Ponce López


    PhD in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT. Master in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Professor-Researcher at the School of Government and Public Transformation of the Tecnológico de Monterrey. His research focuses on Urban Information Systems for land use and transportation policy planning.

  • Tulio Vázquez López


    With 20 years of experience in the housing finance sector. Vice President of the Inter-American Housing Union. Founding Partner of Fondo de Inversión Inmobiliario. Advisor to Housing Companies. For 15 years he was Coordinator of the Private Sector at Infonavit. Member of the Executive Committee of UHPH.

  • Edgar Arturo Barroso


    D. from Harvard University. Currently Professor and Director of the Entrepreneurship and Transformation Lab at Tec de Monterrey. Founder of Antena Labs, a technology development company for public transformation and Casa Antena, a technological and community learning space.

  • Karol Yáñez


    PhD in Territorial Planning and Regional Development, Universitat de Barcelona. Master in Engineering and Planning and Civil Engineer, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Mexico. Expert in slums, sustainable housing and rural housing. She has developed research projects related to sustainable urban development, housing, slums and sustainable rural housing.

  • Elda Hernández


    PhD in Territorial Planning and Regional Development, Universitat de Barcelona. Master in Engineering and Planning and Civil Engineer, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Mexico. Expert in slums, sustainable housing and rural housing. She has developed research projects related to sustainable urban development, housing, slums and sustainable rural housing.

  • Tanya Jiménez


    Liaison and Capacity Building Manager, leads capacity building strategies focused on local governments and liaison strategies to contribute to the viability of WRI Mexico projects. Extensive experience in the development of land management instruments with DOTS criteria and urban regeneration for degraded areas.

  • Ana María Faggi


    Agricultural Engineer (UBA) and PhD in Forestry Sciences (Maximilian Universitat, Germany). Researcher and lecturer in Urban Ecology. Researcher at CONICET from 1984 to 2019. Specialist in Urban Ecology and Environmental Indicators. More than a hundred publications in Journals and Books. Currently Dean of the Faculty of Engineering (UFLO).

  • Ariel Sosa


    PM. Consultant. Coach. Project Management in Civil Society. Specialist in Housing and Habitat. Director of Project Integration and Participative Management, Government of the Province of Buenos Aires. Since 2020 he is Advisor-Counselor of the Fondo Inmobiliario Comunitario para el Alquiler, a social organization in Sao Paulo, which works on the problem of housing, real estate speculation and evictions.

  • Guadalupe Granero Realini


    Architect and Master in Urban and Regional Planning (University of Buenos Aires - UBA). Principal Researcher at the Center for Habitat and Housing Studies (UBA). Urban Area Coordinator of the Center for Metropolitan Studies (UMET, UNHAUR, UNAJ).

  • María Carla Rodríguez


    PhD in Social Sciences UBA. Researcher CONICET / Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani UBA and Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences-UBA. She is a member of the coordinating group of the Latin American School of Popular Habitat of the Latin American Secretariat of Housing and Popular Habitat and the Latin American Group of Social Production of Habitat International Coalition (HIC).

  • María Mercedes de Virgilio


    Degree in Sociology and PhD in Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires. Professor of Social Research Methodology at UBA. Senior Researcher CONICET / Gino Germani Research Institute. Her research topics revolve around urban and housing policies, popular habitat, spatial mobilities and urban transformations.

  • Pablo Vitale


    BA in Political Science, Specialist in Planning and Management of Social Policies and PhD Candidate in Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires. Co-Director of the Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ). From this area he oversees the agendas of the Right to the City, technical collaboration and transfer activities on housing issues.

  • Leticia Echavarri


    Doctora en Administración y Política Pública – IIFAP/FCS – UNC. Magister en Administración Pública. IIFAP/FCS - UNC. Experta en administración y política pública inclusiva, políticas públicas para la igualdad de género, los derechos de las mujeres y el cumplimiento de los derechos humanos. Integrante de CISCSA Ciudades Feministas.

  • Verónica Adler


    Degree in Economics. Master in Public Policy, Torcuato Di Tella University, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Specialist in economic development of subnational sectors, neighborhood improvement, subnational public infrastructure and revitalization of degraded urban areas. She currently coordinates the actions of the Urban Development and Housing division for the Southern Cone countries of the IDB.

  • Luis Eduardo Bresciani


    Architect from the Catholic University of Chile and Master in Urban Design from Harvard University, USA. Director of the School of Architecture UC Chile. He has held public positions as President of the National Council of Urban Development and Director of the Urban Development Division of the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism of Chile.

  • Margarita Greene


    Architect and Master in Sociology from Universidad Católica de Chile and Ph.D. from University College of London. Specialist in incremental construction, vulnerable neighborhoods and urban projects. Since 2010 Professor of the School of Architecture UC, and since 2016 is Principal Researcher at the Center for Sustainable Urban Development CEDEUS.

  • María Ignacia Jiménez


    Social Worker and Master in Human Settlements and Environment. With 35 years of experience in territorial development and overcoming poverty in urban and rural areas, both in Chile and in Latin America, Haiti, El Salvador, Paraguay, Guatemala, Dominican Republic among others. He currently works at GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation).

  • Paulina Saball


    Social Worker, Catholic University of Chile. She was Minister of Housing and Urbanism of Chile (2014-2018) and Undersecretary of the same portfolio (2010-2014). She also served as National Director of the Country Service Program, National Director of the National Environmental Commission and Undersecretary of National Assets. She currently consults and participates in foundations related to city, territory and citizen participation.

  • Ricardo Jordan


    Geographer and Master in Urban and Regional Planning, Universidad Católica de Chile. Master in Economic Development, ISS, The Netherlands. Former Director of the Institute of Urban Studies of the Catholic University of Chile and Head of the Human Settlements Unit of the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division of ECLAC. He currently works at the Cities 2030 Foundation.

  • Sergio Galilea


    Civil Engineer. Academic in matters of urban development, decentralization and public ethics. Former Minister of National Assets, Undersecretary of Housing and Urbanism, of Public Works and of the Presidency of Chile, as well as Intendant (governor) of the Metropolitan Region and of Los Lagos. Author of books on Climate Change and Natural Disasters in Chile.

  • Ines Magalhaes


    Sociologist, expert in housing and urban development with long experience in the public sector, holding positions at local, state and national government levels. She is currently a senior housing and urban development consultant for the World Bank: Urban, Rural and Social Development Department and UN-Habitat. She was National Secretary of Housing and Minister of the Ministry of Cities in Brazil, where she worked between 2003 and 2016.

  • Camila Jordan


    Environmental Engineer (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and Master in Public Administration (Columbia University, New York). She is currently executive director of TETO Brazil, an organization that involves volunteers and residents of precarious communities to overcome poverty.

  • Adriana Hurtado


    PhD in anthropology, with a master's degree in regional development planning and administration. Professor at the Interdisciplinary Center for Development Studies -Cider, Universidad de los Andes. She works in the line of planning, governance and territorial development, specifically on issues of housing and habitat, informality and inequality, coexistence and citizenship.

  • Lucía Shimbo


    Master and PhD in Architecture and Urbanism from the University of São Paulo (IAU-USP), where she currently works as an academic. She was a visiting researcher at the Collegium de Lyon (University of Lyon). She received the New Leadership in Research Excellence Award at USP. She has coordinated research projects on housing policies, real estate market and financialization of urban space production.

  • José Antonio Pinzón


    PhD in Territorial Planning and Regional Development. He is currently Deputy Director of Housing and Urban Development at the National Planning Department (DNP) of Colombia, member of the Board of Directors of Caja Honor and of the Superior Council of Housing. He was Manager of Cadastre and Mining Registry at the ANM and Undersecretary of Information and Strategic Studies at the SDP.

  • Vanessa Velasco


    Architect, Master in Urban Planning and Urban Administration. Since 2015 she has been working as an urban development specialist at the World Bank, linked to projects in Latin America on urban and regional policy, housing policy, land value capture, urban regeneration and transit-oriented development. She has extensive experience in urban project formulation and implementation.

  • Fernando Duarte


    Architect with experience in project management and territorial development. Currently works at Estudio OCA, co-leading the ASU+B | Ciudades+B initiative. He participates in initiatives and networks linked to the city and citizen participation. Between 2011 and 2019 he worked at TECHO for Paraguay and Latin America.

  • Soledad Núñez


    Ingeniera Civil (Universidad Nacional de Asunción) y Máster en Políticas Públicas por la Universidad de Oxford. Fue Ministra de Vivienda y Hábitat del Paraguay (2014-2018),  Presidenta de la Asamblea de Ministros de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano para América Latina y El Caribe (2015), Directora de la ONG Techo en Paraguay (2009-2013). Es Directora Académica del Diplomado en Políticas Públicas de la Universidad UCOM.

  • Edgar Mora


    Urbanista, periodista y Máster en Administración Pública por la Universidad de Harvard. Fue Ministro de Educación Pública de Costa Rica y Alcalde de Curridabat (2007-2018). Fundador de Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign de la OECD, Consejero Fundador de la Alianza Smart LATAM y Embajador de Buena Voluntad de The World Bee Project.

  • Claudio Acioly

    Architect and urban planner. With 40 years of experience in international cooperation in more than 30 countries around the world for governments, bilateral and multilateral organizations. He was senior manager of UN-Habitat for more than a decade. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ), among others.

  • Alexander R. Jachnow


    Holds a PhD on the role of NGOs in the urban sector in Latin America, a Master's degree in Architecture and a Specialization in Housing from UNAM, Mexico. He is Director of the Department of Strategic and Sustainable Urban Planning at IHS Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

  • Magela Cabrera Arias


    Architect with master's degrees in Social Housing, Maritime Sector Development and Information and Knowledge Society. She is an academic at the University of Panama, member of the Urban Inequalities Working Group of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) and researcher associated for more than 15 years with the Justo Arosemena Center for Latin American Studies (CELA).

  • José Freitas


    Architect with a master's degree in Urban Development. Former National Director of Territorial Planning of Uruguay. He has worked in the design and implementation of territorial policies and programs at different levels of government and coordinated urban projects in several cities, such as public parks, urban-housing developments and actions in central areas. He is part of the Ivy Association, oriented to sustainable development in Latin America.

  • Eduardo Rojas


    Urban architect, PhD in Urbanism from the Lusófona University of Portugal. He is an independent consultant and professor in the Heritage Conservation Program of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a senior specialist in urban development at the IDB and at the Department of Regional Development of the OAS. He was deputy director of the Institute of Urban Studies at the Catholic University of Chile.

  • Nancy Lozano García


    PhD in Applied Economics. Currently she is a senior economist at the World Bank in Sustainable Development. With more than 20 years of experience leading programs in urban and regional economics, spatial data analysis, and spatial econometric applications. She is an expert in the design and application of diagnostic tools to analyze the challenges of urbanization and growth of cities.

  • Tony Piaskowy


    Bachelor in Urban Planning and Master in International Public Service. With more than 15 years of experience in international development, working with NGOs and governments at different levels. He is Director of the Global Program of Fundación Cadasta, where he manages the processes and strategies for project implementation. He worked at USAID managing and evaluating global land tenure and property rights programs.

  • Sirly Castro


    Economist. Master in Economics and in Urban Development and Global Planning. Former Director of Urban Development and Deputy Director of Water and Sanitation at the DNP of Colombia, Director of Aqueduct at the Superservicios and Director of the Road Safety Observatory. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Fondo Nacional del Ahorro and an expert in National Urban Policies in preparation for Habitat III. She is currently an independent consultant for the IDB on sanitation issues.

  • Karla Franca


    Geographer and PhD in Geography from the University of Brasilia (UnB). Specialist in Urban and Environmental Law. She is currently responsible for the area of Territorial Planning and Housing of the National Confederation of Municipalities (CNM) of Brazil. He also has experience in the evaluation of national and international competitions in urban planning and innovation.

  • Circe Monteiro


    Architect and urban planner, with a deep interest in the effect of cities and the built environment on people and societies. Great enthusiast of interdisciplinary approaches, she coordinates INCITI, Institute of the Federal University of Pernambuco - Brazil, which brings together 12 different research groups dedicated to study and find innovative solutions for cities.


Inspiring Practices Contest 2018

Housing at the center of the New Urban Agenda

We would like to congratulate the 29 winners of this contest and thank the nearly 300 projects that participated. Selected projects will be awarded and exhibited in the 3rd Forum to be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on June 2018.