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NYC 2106: A Design and Engineering Challenge

Presented by the History Channel

Demographic forecasts predict that New York will grow by a million residents within the next 25 years. Projecting this growth into the future, the city of 2106 will have to accommodate a 50% increase in population. Yet the majority of the city’s infrastructural networks have already reached their capacity. Adding new layers of centralized infrastructure and increasing the sizes of the systems in place would be prohibitively expensive and increase the disproportionate burden of these systems on certain disadvantaged neighborhoods. Linked to the environmental and infrastructural challenge—and equally important—is the social challenge of creating an urban structure where the individual feels connected to the city and responsible for the impact of his actions on his neighbors and the environment. In response to this challenge, we propose a new organization of urban infrastructure built on the sustainable street. By building sustainable infrastructure at the scale of the neighborhoods, the city can grow without increasing its load on metropolitan infrastructure or the city’s impact on the environment. By bringing the individual into contact with the systems which support urban life, this strategy builds a culture of responsibility where each individual and each neighborhood is aware of the resources on which they depend.

Technology Merit Award