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27th Annual Future City® Competition Finals Announced
February 8, 2019

Natural disasters— like earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes — pose serious threats to cities and citizens. The damage from these events can severely disrupt every aspect of life in an affected region. Especially now, in the wake of recent catastrophic events, engineers, architects, and city leaders face the critical task of creating resilient cities.

Since last fall, more than 40,000 middle school students from 1,500 schools in 41 US regions, as well as teams from Canada and China, have imagined, designed and built cities for the 2018-2019 Future City® Competition. This year’s theme, Powering Our Future, challenges students to design innovative ways to power their future city that can withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of a natural disaster.

In January, each region held qualifying competitions to select which teams would compete at the Future City Finals. Now, those winners are preparing to travel to Washington, DC for the Finals, to be held at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, February 16-20, 2019, during Engineers Week. The exciting competition takes place over four days and culminates with one team taking home the grand prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp and $7,500 for their school’s STEM program (provided by Finals sponsor Bentley Systems).

The Future City Competition is a project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. Keeping the engineering design process and project management front and center, students are asked to address an authentic, real-world question: How can we make the world a better place?

During the Future City Competition, students work as a team to complete five deliverables. They design a virtual city using SimCity ™ software. They research a city-wide issue and write an essay describing their findings and innovative solutions. Teams complete a project plan to help keep their project on track. They also build a tabletop scale model of their city using recycled materials and create a short presentation about their city.

Future City will be streaming the Finals as part of its 27th annual competition. The livestream begins on Tuesday, February 19th at 8:30am (EST) as the competition kicks off with the annual parade of teams. The Future City Finals grand prize winner will be announced at approximately 12:00pm (EST).

Future City has ongoing opportunities for engineering and technical professionals to volunteer in a number of different roles, including team mentors and regional coordinators.

Major funding for the Future City Finals comes from the Bechtel Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc, Shell Oil Company, and DiscoverE. Additional program support provided by EA, NCEES, UEF, and UL. UL also sponsored the City Essay this cycle.

To learn more, visit

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