City of the Future

Urban Labs’ “Growing Water” design for a future Chicago wins The History Channel’s City of the Future design challenge. It is a really smart concept.


Let me summarize:

  1. Start with the turn-of-last-century “Emerald Necklace” of parks and boulevards meant to create a green orbital around the city. (It sorta works and makes a great bike route.) Use this as a lush anchor for what’s to come.
  2. Return to a respect for the subcontintental divide that splits water flowing to the Mississippi from water flowing to Lake Michigan (the solution to this Ascent Stage quiz of yore) and the fact that the Chicago River now disregards this natural phenom based on human engineering. (Or does it?)
  3. Repurpose the current labyrinth of water and sewage tunnels to house the much-desired expansion of the L. (Urban Labs meet Craig Berman, discuss.)

Watch the full presentation.

Yes, IBM, was a sponsor of this competition. Alas, I had no part in the judging.

One response to “City of the Future”

  1. Craig says :

    Like the man said, UrbanLab: give me a call sometime.