Imagination Iowa &
Future City

Future City Header Image
Future City is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future.
Starting with the question, “How can we make the world a better place?” students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue.
National Competition
Washington DC, February 18-21, 2017
Iowa Regionals
Cedar Rapids, January 21st, 2017
This Years Theme

The Power of Public Space

The single most important ingredient in any city is people. And people need a variety of public spaces throughout their city, both indoors and outdoors, where they can meet, relax, play, learn, connect, share cultures, create community, and build civic identity. When city planners and engineers develop public spaces they don’t just consider open fields or existing parks and plazas, they look at sites such as abandoned buildings, old railway lines, waterways (rivers, lakes, ponds), former industrial areas, and the single largest land asset in any city—the streets and sidewalks.

Public spaces, both small and large, indoors and outside, not only make an urban area more attractive and more livable, they also serve as an anchor that benefits cities in a variety of ways. Many public space projects revitalize a city’s economy by introducing new businesses and bringing in new visitors. Other public space projects help reduce crime, ease traffic congestion, improve pedestrian safety, promote healthy living, improve the environment, and enhance civic engagement. In fact, a recent study by the UN-Habitat’s Global Urban Observatories Unit found that cities that devoted about 50% of their space to public use tended to be more prosperous and have a higher quality of life.

Your challenge

Your challenge is to include in your future city a distributed network of innovative, multiuse public spaces that serves your city’s diverse population.

The Future City Team

Jean Oberbroeckling
Co-Regional Coordinator for Future City

Jean is a retired TAG teacher who previously taught at Harding Middle School with the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Kristine Sorensen
Kristine Sorensen
Co-Regional Coordinator for Future City

Kristine is a former teacher with the College Community School District and is now the Director of K–12 Education for NewBoCo.

Della Caldwell
Della Caldwell
Future City Team Coach

(Team is sponsored by Imagination Iowa)

Paddy Puthige
Paddy Puthige
Future City Team Coach

(Team is sponsored by Imagination Iowa)

Want to Volunteer?

We’re always looking for great mentors, teachers, and judges. Sign up today to join us!

Students Participating in Future City:

  • Apply math and science concepts to real-world issues
  • Develop writing, public speaking, problem solving, and time management skills
  • Research and propose solutions to engineering challenges
  • Discover different types of engineering and explore careers options
  • Learn how their communities work and become better citizens
  • Develop strong time management and project management skills
Future City IowaFuture City Linn CountyFuture City Groups