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Report of Future City Competition 2014

This was the first time I participated as a Special Awards Judge for the Future City competition representing the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) at the Hyatt Regency exhibit area on Feb. 16. IIE judges were asked to focus on a “demonstration of excellence in the design of integrated systems of people, material, information, equipment, and energy.” There were 37 projects developed by 37 teams of middle school students who had each been selected as winners of their regional competitions to qualify for the national finals. Student enthusiasm, their exhibits, energy level, knowledge of methods to capture energy, interest in protecting the environment, and presentations were impressive throughout. What caught my attention of the Indiana Region’s Woodside Middle School, however, was when I asked what their goal was at the outset of their project, the answer was that they wanted to build a “sustainable, efficient city, with a happy population.” There model city was “Santos” in Brazil, with a population of 900,000 in the year 2064. They envisioned many sources of energy, including capturing energy from pedestrians walking on specially designed walkways. Exporting medical devices was an economic driver of the city.

Submitted by Neal Schmeidler

Future City

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