and competition framework

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

A summary of key information for the competition is outlined below. Please refer to the Regulation document for detailed guidance.

Overview of the competition



Reinventing Cities is an international competition initiated by the C40 to stimulate ambitious carbon-neutral developments across the globe and to transform underutilized sites into beacons of sustainability and resilience.

Reinventing Cities will:

  • Drive collaboration between the private and public sector to deliver low carbon urban regeneration; 

  • Support the implementation of innovative ideas that can be rolled out on a global scale;

  • Help drive forward public policy-making to support 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.


For this competition, cities or public/private site owners propose underutilized sites ready to be released and transformed. Reinventing Cities will enable them to identify and select the best projects for the redevelopment of their sites. 

For each site, the bidding teams will compete to acquire the site and to implement their project. The submitted projects will be holistic from inception, implementation and operation. They must include a financial plan to turn the proposal into reality. 

At the end of the competition process, each city (or site owner) will organize the legal agreement to finalize the site transfer.


The sites 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, the site owner has identified the legal agreement proposed for the site transfer, which can take different forms: sale, lease, rental contract, lease-back, occupation, joint venture etc.

The sites in competition can be found here.

Teams Qualifications

Reinventing Cities encourages new types of collaborations to create ambitious and attractive projects. 

The bidding team must be multidisciplinary and at least include:

  • A qualified person in charge of the project design such as an architect or an urban designer

  • An environmental expert 

  • A developer or investor with the financial capacity to implement the project (mandatory for the final phase, and highly recommended for the initial Expression of Interest phase)

In addition teams can include other stakeholders such as creative project holders, start-ups, academics, community associations etc. 

While not required, the team may combine international and local experts, The presence of a local partner is recommended to assist in complying with the local rules and to facilitate local stakeholder involvement.

Competition framework 

The competition will be composed of two phases: an Expression of Interest open to all and a Final Phase restricted to the finalist teams. 

For the two phases, the competition is structured by two main documents prepared by the cities/sites owners and C40:

  • A Regulation document

  • For each site, one Site Specific Requirements document (SSR) that outlines the site specifications, including local rules, City’s expectations for the future uses and terms of the property transfer.

The bidding teams are expected to submit proposals that comply with the general objectives detailed in the Regulation document and the requirements provided in each SSR. 

The Regulation document can be downloaded here. The SSRs can be found on each site’s page.

Timeline and submissions

The general timeline and submissions of the competition are as follows and can be adjusted by each City/site owner. For more details please refer to the competition documents.

Phase 1 ’Expression of Interest’ (3 to 5 months)

The bidding teams submit a light Expression of Interest, including:

  • Presentation of the team

  • Presentation of the project and development concept for the site (10 pages max. and a board of simple concept illustrations)

Analysis of the expressions of interest and selection of 3 to 5 finalist teams per site (2 to 3 months).

Phase 2 ‘Final Proposal’ (4 to 6 months)

The finalist teams submit their final proposal, including: 

  • Presentation of the team

  • Detailed project presentation (including design, uses, environmental performance, drawings and architectural renderings)

  • Carbon assessment of the project and environmental monitoring protocol (where the team specifies their main environmental objectives and commitments)

  • Financial offer and business plan

Analysis of the final proposals and selection of the winning project for the site (2 to 3 months)

Proposals must be submitted electronically on the site specific webpage.

Selection criteria

The submissions will be judged based on the following criteria, which can be adjusted by the City/site owner (refer to documents):

For the Expression of Interest 

1. Relevance of the project to the specifics of the site 
2. Proposed solutions to address the 10 challenges defined above 
3. Suitability of the team

For the Final Phase Proposal

  1. Relevance of the project to the specifics of the site

  2. Proposed solutions to address the 10 Challenges for Climate

  3. Soundness of the business model and the relevance of the legal and financial arrangement

  4. Suitability of the team. 

10 challenges for climate 

The path to achieving a zero-carbon, sustainable and resilient project  requires a combination of solutions. The choice of these solutions should be made in consideration of the site, its configuration and how it fits in with its surroundings. 

Teams are invited to address the following challenges:

1. Energy efficiency and low-carbon energy (mandatory).
2. Life cycle assessment and sustainable materials management (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. Innovative architecture and urban design

Further guidance relating to the 10 challenges for Climate and information on the main principles to carry out a carbon assessment are provided in the document ‘Guidance to Design a Zero-carbon, Sustainable and Resilient Project’ that is available here.

Reinventing Cities in a Nutshell


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