Daily Video

April 23, 2009

Students Design City of the Future

Students from across the country applied technical and scientific knowledge to design a city of the future, imagine how it would work and what it would be like to live there in the 17th Annual Future City National Competition. More than 30,000 students from 1,100 middle schools designed and tested their urban planning ideas

Students learned to ask themselves, where should industry go in the city? How about medical research centers? Will people want to live here? How do taxes work? How does zoning work? This year’s team had to incorporate water conservation methods into their designs.

The designs were varied with some designing under water cities powered by geothermal and hydroelectric sources or fantasy city in Iceland that runs on geothermal energy and hydropower.


“We had a school in an inner city one year where the judges asked, “Why do you have so many homeless shelters in your city? It seems like there are way, way more than we’ve seen in other places.” And the students said, “Because we pass so many homeless people when we go to school every day.”- Leslie Collins

“Engineers make this whole world work.”- Jack Duff, Student

Warm Up Questions

1. Are towns and cities designed or do they just happen?

2. What are some things that make a city or town pleasant to live in?

3. What does an engineer do? How is an engineer different from a scientist?

Discussion Questions

1. List a few of the ideas for new cities outlined by the students: do you think any of them would work? Why or why not?

2. What is a major problem in your city or town? What new design innovation do you think would help?

3. Which of the cities described would you like most to live in? Why?

4. Can you name a major scientific or engeneering innovation that has made a big difference in your life or in your community?

5. Does this report make you want to become an engineer or city planner? Why or why not?

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