On January 21st, LaSalle technology teachers and students had an opportunity to show guests and judges their version of the city of Glens Falls in the year 2117. The Capital District competition was held at Proctors in Schenectady. The theme of this year’s Future City Competition is The Power of Public Space. The contest will culminate with the national competition during National Engineer’s Week in February when regional winners gather in Washington, D.C.
Future City Competition planners issued a press release stating ‘public spaces have the capacity to revitalize a city’s economy by introducing new businesses and bringing in new visitors. They can also help reduce crime, ease traffic congestion, improve pedestrian safety, promote healthy living, improve the environment, and enhance civic engagement.’ The release cited a recent study by the UN-Habitat’s Global Urban Observatories Unit that found cities devoting 50% of their space to public use tended to be more prosperous and have a higher quality of life.
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2016-17, this year’s Future City® Competition posed these questions and more as it asks middle school students to address the power of public space and challenges them to design innovative, multi-use public spaces that serve a city’s diverse population.
In the Capital District region, 27 teams from 20 schools competed in the Future City Regional Finals with approximately 375 local students participating. They joined more than 40,000 middle school students from 1,350 schools in 37 regions around the country, all of whom were engaged in similar competitions. Team projects were named either for existing cities or were completely imaginary.
LaSalle Albany’s model showed how microorganisms could be used to create renewable, sustainable energy sources in the city. Researching New York State’s Glens Falls, a city known for industrial manufacturing, production of medical devices and use of paper and forestry devices, students used recyclable materials to create a totally original futuristic city that capitalized on a working city’s assets to address environmental and societal needs one hundred years from now. The LaSalle project received honors for the ‘Best Complete Streets Design.’
LaSalle wishes to congratulate all regional teams. In particular, first place winners from the New Lebanon Jr./Sr. High School who will move onto the national stage with their future city ‘Renswyck’ on February 21st in Washington DC.
LaSalle School is a leader in programs and services for youth and families in crisis offering a variety of programs designed to meet their needs including specialized residential placement, day service education, and alternative to detention services. The Counseling Center at LaSalle is an OMH and OASAS licensed outpatient behavioral health clinic located at LaSalle School, and currently implementing ACE treatment practices with youth and families. LaSalle is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), and affiliated with the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA), and the national Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. LaSalle is a member of The New York State Coalition of 853 Schools.
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