Frequently Asked Questions

The competition

What is C40?

C40 is a network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. C40 represents 700+ million people and one-quarter of the global economy. The current Chair of the C40 is Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Michael Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. To learn more visit the website www.c40.org.

What is Reinventing Cities in a nutshell?

Reinventing Cities is an international competition initiated by C40 to stimulate zero-carbon developments across the globe and to transform underutilized sites identified by cities into beacons of sustainability and resiliency. 

Reinventing Cities will:

  • Foster collaboration between the private and public sectors to deliver zero-carbon urban regeneration.
  • Support the implementation of innovative ideas that can be rolled out on a global scale.

  • Act as a catalyst for public policy that supports decarbonized, sustainable, and resilient cities.

  • Accelerate the change and innovation in the global building sector, which is responsible for 40% of emissions. 

Therefore, each Reinventing Cities project should serve as a model for carbon-neutral development, demonstrating innovative and replicable climate solutions and providing local community benefits.

What is the outcome of the competition?

In this competition, cities or city partners propose underutilised sites, which are ready to be released and transformed. Reinventing Cities will enable them to identify and select the best projects for the redevelopment of their sites.

The sites proposed for the competition comprise a diverse supply of land with a wide range of sizes and typologies – from existing buildings to empty parcels, and from a small plot in a city centre to a large site in a new development area.

For each site, bidding teams will compete to acquire the site and to implement their project. Their submitted projects will be holistic from inception to implementation and operation and will demonstrate how environmental performances can be achieved together with community benefits. Projects must also include a financial plan to turn the proposal into reality.

At the end of the competition process, each city will organise the legal agreement to finalise the site transfer. 

I am a city representative - How can my city participate in Reinventing Cities and propose site(s) for the competition?

If your city is interested in joining the program you can consult this presentation for general information. Please contact reinventingcities@c40.org or the contacts indicated in the presentation to get in touch with the Reinventing Cities team.

How is the competition structured?

The competition consists of two phases: an Expression of Interest (phase 1) open to all and a Final Proposal (phase 2) restricted to the finalist teams.

The Regulation document can be found here and defines the main rules for each phase.

I want to submit a project; how do I apply?

The application process is described in the competition Regulation document, which can be downloaded here.


You may submit an Expression of Interest for one or several sites.


The Expression of Interest must be submitted electronically using the “Submit a project” button visible on each site’s web page. 

The deadline for uploading your submission is indicated on each Site Requirements (SR) and site’s page. Late uploads or other formats will not be accepted.

What is the selection process?

Following the submission of the Expressions of Interest, the City will undertake, with the support of C40, a technical analysis of the proposals, based on the evaluation criteria defined in the Regulation


The general rule is for cities to select 3 finalists per site, but for some specific cases, the city may decide to retain more finalists, with a maximum of 5 finalist teams.


The selected teams will be invited to submit a proposal for the final phase of the competition.

How do I know about the specific rules and requirements for each site?

In addition to the Regulation, for each site on the dedicated web page, bidding teams will find one Site Requirements (SR), that outlines the site specifications, including local rules, the city’s expectations for the redevelopment, the terms of the property transfer and the specific timeline. Note that in addition to the SR, the city will provide specific competition documents and information regarding the site (maps, plans, urban planning rules, etc.) through a dedicated dataroom accessible from the page dedicated to each site.

What specific challenges should my project address?

The competition defines 10 Climate Challenges that are listed below. The bidding teams are invited to address these challenges to achieve carbon neutrality as well as to develop resilient and people-centered places. The choice of solutions should be made in consideration of the site. In each SR, cities have indicated specific environmental challenges and objectives for their site.


1.   Energy efficiency and low-carbon energy (mandatory)


2.   Clean construction and building life cycle(mandatory)


3.   Low-carbon mobility


4.   Climate resilience and adaptation


5.    Ecological services for the neighbourhood and green jobs


6.   Sustainable water management


7.   Sustainable waste management


8.   Biodiversity, urban re-vegetation and agriculture


9.   Inclusive actions, social benefits and community engagement


10. Quality urban design and architecture 


Teams should refer to the document Guidance to Design a zero-carbon, Sustainable and Resilient Project for guidance on the 10 Climate Challenges and information on the main principles for carrying out a carbon assessment. This document is available here.

Can I expect any financial compensation as a member of a bidding team?

The bidding teams will not be compensated for their participation in the Reinventing Cities competition or for any expenses related thereto unless it is specified otherwise in the SR. The transaction for the site property transfer will occur after the conclusion of the second phase of the competition, based upon the official decision from the jury of each city and in compliance with local laws and rules.

Does registration in the competition involve a fee?

The registration in the competition is free and doesn’t involve any fee.

How can I ask questions about the competition?

For general questions, you may contact us by using the dedicated question form on the right sidebar of this page


For specific questions about a site, you can refer to the question box on the sidebar of the page dedicated to the site. Answers will be shared in a FAQ that will be stored in the site dataroom when relevant to all candidates.

What about confidentiality?

Throughout this initiative, C40, participating cities and partners involved in the organization of the competition agree to ensure strict confidentiality of the content (e.g. the proposals submitted). The Regulation specifies in more detail confidentiality rules.

Is it possible to bid for one or more sites in the same city and within a single submission?

It is possible to bid for several sites in the same city. In that case, you will have to submit one expression of interest for each site.

Team

Is the composition of my project team open-ended, or must it be made up of people with specific skills?

The bidding teams must be multidisciplinary, they must develop the project from inception to implementation and operation. 


The bidding teams must at least comprise:

  • A qualified person in charge of the project design such as an architect or an urban designer (mandatory from the Expression of Interest).

  • An environmental expert (mandatory from the Expression of Interest).

  • A developer, investor, or financial backer with the financial capacity to implement the project (recommended for the Expression of Interest phase and mandatory for the Final Proposal phase). 


In addition, bidding teams are encouraged to include other stakeholders such as creative project holders, start-ups, academics and community associations. 


Aside from the above, teams are free to incorporate any other disciplines/roles.

Can my team be considered multidisciplinary if it is made up of people with different skills and expertise but belonging to one single company?

Yes. In this case, the identity, expertise, and role of each person from the company involved in the project must be specified. 

Does my team have to include an investor or any other company capable of ensuring a financial commitment?

The financial feasibility of the project, as well as the legal and financial soundness of the team, are part of the selection criteria. Thus, applicants may provide any kind of documentation proving their financial capacity to successfully implement the project proposed. Finalist teams will have to explain the details of their project business model.

Is there a maximum number of companies or legal entities admitted per team?

There is no maximum number of members per team. However, each team must demonstrate the role of each member. The team composition and the quality of its organization will be taken into consideration during the evaluation.

What type of entity may join my team?

The competition is open to any participant capable of taking part in an ambitious, sustainable and feasible project. Reinventing Cities competition is open to any type of stakeholders: private or public, local or international, professional or non-professional.

Do my team members have to be affiliated with a specific legal structure?

No, unless mentioned otherwise in the SR. 

Can a company or legal entity be part of several teams that are applying for different sites? Can the same team compete for different sites?

Yes, a company or legal entity can be part of several teams that are applying for different sites. In this case, the parties undertake to maintain strict confidentiality.


In addition, the same team may apply for multiple sites. In this case, the team must ensure that all team submissions are supported in the event of multiple winning projects.

Can a company or legal entity be part of several teams that are applying for the same site?

Except for the team representative and the lead designer/ architect of the project, it is possible for a legal entity to be part of more than one team. The parties in question shall in this case undertake to maintain strict confidentiality.

How can I let other companies know I want to join or create a project team?

The Team-up page on the website enables you to introduce yourself and meet with other companies. We also recommend joining the local meet-up events that the participating cities may organize, these will be advertised on the News & Events section.

Sites

Is it possible to apply before visiting the sites?

The site visit is not mandatory to submit an Expression of Interest. However, since the applications include information on urban development and land use destination objectives, visiting the site may benefit applicants.


For non-accessible sites and sites that are already built on, cities may organize site visits that will be advertised in the News & Events section. Registration for visits can be done through the website.  

Is there a specific and defined type of project expected for each site?

The type of project and programme accepted are not entirely defined and specified, to let teams propose the solutions they find best for the site. However, some cities define specific guidelines for the redevelopment of their sites. This information is detailed in the SR.

Can my project get rid of city planning rules and/ or other specific regulations?

The projects must comply with the current city planning rules and the local legislation the SR specifies that the city is considering changing the rules (e.g. the rezoning of the site).

How can I ask questions about a site?

Specific questions may be asked through the question box on the page dedicated to the site. Answers will be shared in a FAQ that will be stored in the site dataroom when relevant to all candidates.

Phase 1: Expression of Interest

I want to submit a project, how do I apply?

The application process is described in the Regulation that you can download here.


You may submit a first phase application (Expression of Interest) for one or several sites.


The Expression of Interest must be submitted electronically using the “Submit a project” button visible on each site’s page. 

What does the expression of interest include?

  • Team form. To present all team members and their role in each phase of the project.

  • Presentation of the project. To present the proposed project, the approach and the strategy to minimize carbon emissions and the solutions to address the 10 Climate Challenges.

  • Illustration board. To display drawings and concept illustrations.

  • Legal and financial set-up (if applicable). A memo presenting the legal-financial framework proposed. Teams must present this only if the type of property transfer is not defined by the city or by local rules or the duration of the transfer (in case of concession, lease or occupancy) is not set by the city.

Should the Expression of Interest include a financial offer?

The financial offer will have to be included in the final proposal but not in the Expression of interest phase. In the final phase, bidding teams must propose a financial offer that is consistent with the terms of the property transfer.

What is the Expression of Interest evaluation criteria?

For each site, the Expression of Interest will be judged and selected according to the following criteria:


  • The relevance of the project to the specifics of the site 

  • The solutions proposed to address the 10 climate challenges 

  • The suitability of the team 


More details are provided in the Regulation. 


Note that for some sites, further specifications regarding these criteria may be defined within each SR. There is no weighting of the selection criteria unless otherwise mentioned.

Are the property transfer terms and conditions defined?

Cities generally indicate the type of property transfer. Bidding teams must submit a proposal that is consistent with the city's (or site owner's) expectations. When the city (or site owner) has not specified the nature of the property transfer, bidding teams should propose a legal framework that is consistent with their business model. 


At the end of the competition process, each city will arrange the legal agreement to finalize the site transfer, in accordance with local regulations.

What happens after the submission of the Expression of Interest?

Following the submission of the Expressions of Interest, the city will undertake, with the support of C40, a technical analysis of the Expressions of Interest, based on the evaluation criteria.


For each site, the city supported by C40 will set up a selection committee that will issue recommendations for the city to retain the finalist bidding teams. The general rule is for cities to select 3 finalists per site, but for some specific cases, the city may decide to retain more teams, with a maximum of 5 finalist teams. 


The selected bidding teams will be invited to submit a proposal for the final phase of the competition. 

Can a team withdraw its proposal?

Teams may withdraw their proposals until the final submission. 


The final proposal submission will be considered a commitment by the representative of the bidding team, for a minimum period of eighteen months from the date of the deadline for submissions.

Questions?

If you have a question or would like more details on the Reinventing Cities competition, please use the form below.
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