Future City Competition 2017 – Chicago, announces winners of The Power of Public Spaces

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future cities chicago
At the Future Cities Chicago event in January

Celebrates 25 Years of inspiring middle-school students to imagine, design and build the cities of the future

The State of Illinois Future City Competition has announced its competition winners from 25th anniversary event in January at the University of Illinois Chicago Campus.

This year’s competition asked middle school students to address The Power of Public Spaces and challenged them to design innovative, multiuse public spaces that serve a city’s diverse population.

The winners are:
1st Prairie Junior High School – Alsip, IL Resurgence Point
2nd Franklin Middle School – Wheaton, IL M.O.T.O.R City
3rd St Paul of the Cross School – Park Ridge, IL Wonderwood
4th Wood Dale Junior High School – Wood Dale, IL Kraina Wiatru
5th St Clair Junior High School – St Clair, MO Vil Mon

Public spaces have the capacity to revitalize a city’s economy by introducing new businesses and bringing in new visitors. They can also help reduce crime, ease traffic congestion, improve pedestrian safety, promote healthy living, improve the environment, and enhance civic engagement. A recent study by the UN-Habitat’s Global Urban Observatories Unit found that cities that devoted about 50 percent of their space to public use tended to be more prosperous and have a higher quality of life.

Imagine what it would be like to walk down the main street of a city 100 years in the future. What would you hear, see, smell, and feel? How would the people who live in your future city describe it? What would make it futuristic and innovative?

Working in a team with an educator and STEM mentor, students present their vision of the future through a virtual city design (using SimCity software); a 1,500 word city essay; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); and in a short presentation to a panel of STEM professionals.

Major funding for Future City comes from the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc, and the Shell OilCompany. There is regional funding from HNTB, Golden Square Marketing, Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, Omega, ASCE-Student Chapter, American Concrete Institute Illinois, Associated Steel Erectors, ASHRAE-Illinois Chapter, EJM Engineering, Lin Engineering, Ltd., Patrick Engineering, SAME, Terra Consulting, and Wendy/Lamont Associates.