Designing our Future! Mobilizing People for Change! Advisory

Apr 30, 2012

Come experience the future of Belize through the minds of innovative students!!! “Designing our Future! Mobilizing People for Change!”

Students are harnessing the power of technology and geography and learning to be more socially conscious, as we promote both human and national development for Belize. Through the “My Virtual City” competition, students are being challenged to imagine, design, and build cities of the future, and present their ideas before judges.

Total Business Solutions Limited, the local distributor of Esri Inc. (the world’s leading GIS company) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is hosting the 1st Annual “My Virtual City” Competition on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The exposition and competition judging will take place from 9:30am to 12:30 pm at the Princess Hotel, with the Award Ceremony to follow from 1:00-2:30 pm. Come experience the future of Belize through the minds of innovative students who have spent months training and working to:

• Plan a future city 15+ years in the future with at least 50,000 residents
• Write a 100-500 word City Narrative describing their future city’s key features and design attributes
• Design a Virtual City map using Esri ArcGIS Desktop Standard with 3D Analyst
• Build a scale model of one city section using recycled material
• Write a 1,000-2,000 word Essay describing their city in detail
• Make a 10-minute Presentation discussing features of their future city
Today GIS [Geographic Information Systems] is making a difference in addressing social, environmental and economic issues. GIS is used throughout the world to solve problems related to the environment, health care, land use, business efficiency, education, and public safety; and can lead to growth and development for Belize. Whether you are from Architecture, Real Estate, City Planning, Engineering, Agriculture, Conservation, Utilities, Local Government, Education, or any other sector, this competition and exposition will demonstrate the importance of understanding the role that increased geographic knowledge can play in improving society, economics, environment and public administration in Belize.

“We feel it important to integrate participation of stakeholders and the general public to support further development of the youth involved and the aims of the project – students learning to design their future and becoming innovative future leaders” says Marta Hendrikx, Communications Associate of UNDP. The goals of the “My Virtual City” competition and exhibition are:

• Create awareness and ignite the imagination of the younger generation about GIS.
• Impart knowledge, including how to use Esri software and use problem-solving skills.
• Allow students to experience how GIS can be used for problem solving, planning, and overall improvement of communities, especially Belize.
• Enhance students’ leadership skills by teaching them about human rights and development standards to improve society.
• Stimulate stakeholders to support further development of the youth involved and the aims of the project.

The “My Virtual City” competition and exhibition will feature student teams from St. Joseph’s Primary School, Belize Elementary School, Horizon Academy, EP Yorke High School, Belize High School, and Corozal Community College who have imagined, designed, and built cities of the future. Schools and the general public are invited to attend the exhibition to experience the innovative ideas, vision, and efforts of the future leaders of Belize.

While this competition is first and foremost a project-based experience, there are also awesome prizes being awarded! Each selected finalist will receive a Competitor t-shirt to wear the day of the competition. Members of the winning teams will each receive:

• 1st Prize – Laptop with ArcView Home user License
• 2nd Prize – Blackberry Phone and ArcView Home user License
• 3rd Prize – Ipod and ArcView Home user License
• $500 honorarium to winning teams’ schools.
• Various books and give-a-ways for “Best Teamwork,” “Best Incorporation of GIS,” and “Best City Layout.”

"This competition is about more than just kids experiencing GIS; it’s about working together to sustain our world. We have an opportunity here to create a more spatially literate and socially developed society,” says Mrs. Regina Campbell, Marketing & Business Development Manager at TBSL. We hope that you will find the time to join us for this 1st Annual “My Virtual City” Competition and become part of creating a spatially literate Belizean society.

TBSL expresses its gratitude to the students, parents, mentors, and the UNDP for embracing this project which will help to develop our younger generation to become strategic decision makers who understand how planning and decisions impact our lifestyle, community, nation and world.


Regina Campbell, Marketing & Business Development Manager, TBSL, (501) 223-6807 OR Marta Hendrikx, Communications Associate, UNDP, (501) 822-2688.  Visit our website and Facebook page

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