Students Design Sustainable Solutions for the Future

Student competitions like Urban SOS gather ideas from students around the world about how to confront problems of urban mobility.

There’s been a lot of news this week about students designing a future of sustainable mobility. (Andrew Revkin from The New York Times calls these types of forward-thinking young people part of Generation E.)

From engineering cars of the future to fixing urban sites in disrepair, young people around the world offer up their ideas for creating sustainable cities.

Save the World … by Tomorrow!
Next American City
May 14, 2009

The Urban SOS contest, sponsored by design firm EDAW, encourages undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to “find an urban site in disrepair” and “fix it.”

Entrants should identify innovative and exemplary interventions which will positively engage with informal processes, stabilise communities and achieve lasting improvements in quality of life and opportunity.

New Paradigm Newswire
May 13, 2009

Students at MIT won this year’s 2009 Buckminster Fuller Challenge for their project, “Sustainable Personal Mobility and Mobility-on-Demand Systems (SPM/MoD),” which involves shared-use lightweight electric vehicles (the CityCar, RoboScooter and Green-Wheel Bicycle) that minimize parking space, maximize mobility and reduce congestion and pollution through energy and land-use efficiency.

“The winning project is a perfect example of the kind of radical, transformative change that is possible when we reconceive the old ways of doing things and take a systems-based approach to design,” said The Buckminster Fuller Challenge jurors in a statement about their decision. “SPM/MoD isn’t just about the design of these lightweight, highly efficient, electric vehicles, it is about inserting that technological innovation into the social and cultural environment and designing an intuitive system within which they function.”

Mobility 2050: The Royal College of Arts Students Envision Future Transportation
May 13, 2009

The Royal College of Art recently teamed up with Opel/Vauxhall on a Vehicle Design Course asking students to predict what they think mobility will look like in 2050. The winning student gets to participate in a 3-month, hands-on learning experience with GM of Europe working with future technologies.

Shell waves the green flag in race to build most fuel-efficient car
May 8, 2009

More than 200 teams of engineering students from 29 countries battle for the top prize in this Shell-sponsored annual green car rally, where futuristic, lightweight cars race around the EuroSpeedway circuit with the goal of burning as little fuel as possible. The best cars could travel the entire length of Britain five times on a single gallon of petrol–in other words, at least 3,000 miles to the gallon.

“For participating teams, ‘sustainable mobility’ is more than just a buzzword: these are the engineers of the future who are helping to turn it into reality,” said Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Shell . “Society needs a new generation of talented problem-solvers to address the world’s energy challenges.”

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