Future City Monthly Updates


Last call for Teams!

Please be sure to register your teams (homeschool teams welcome!) by October 31, 2021 this year.  The deadline is coming up and the October 31 registration date is mandatory.  We are excited to have your and your team join us this year as we explore how to design a waste-free city using the principles of a circular economy. 

We have a record number of teams and schools joining the Missouri Future City Competition this year!  For teachers and organizations not sure if they want to jump in completely, there is a non-competition option to consider.  The non-competition option allows you access to Future City resources including SimCity codes to help your students learn more about the communities they live in!

A few years ago, we had a team that took the “Power of Public Spaces” theme to their own community.  After the Future City competition, they revitalized a city park!  The waste-free city theme highlights not only the improvements we can make for urban living but also helps students discover new ways that everyday habits can reduce the amount of waste at home. 

We are also looking for some additional judges this year!  Know anyone who might like to help us out?  These individuals can be engineers, project managers, city planners, and educators that would like to help evaluate the good work that the teams do.  Please email missouri@futurecity.org or create an account at

www.futurecity.org and select judge.  We’ll follow up with all judges to make sure they are trained in their area of expertise.

Learn more about waste-free cities here.

Register for the 2021-2022 Future City Competition here.


Planning is Underway

Planning is underway for the 5th Missouri Future City Competition.  We’re so excited to reach this milestone!  We are planning for an in-person competition on the Missouri S&T campus on Saturday, January 15, 2022.  COVID considerations will be in effect.  As we all shepherd our students through this time, please reach out if you have any questions about event protocol or concerns regarding the in-person competition.  Since we can not tell the future, we are also setting up a backup plan that will include a virtual competition if the circumstances require that action.

  • December 17, 2021 – City Essay
  • December 17, 2021 – Project Plan 1: Set Goals
  • December 17, 2021 – Project Plan 2: Create a Schedule
  • December 17, 2021 – Project Plan 3: Conduct Check-Ins
  • January 7, 2022 – Project Plan 4: Reflect on Project
  • January 8, 2022 – City Video Presentation
  • January 15, 2022 – Missouri Future City Competition (in-person at Missouri S&T)
  • January 15, 2022 – City Model (at Competition)
  • January 15, 2022 – City Presentation (at Competition)*
  • January 15, 2022 – City Q&A (at Competition)

*Please note that we are requesting a City Video Presentation upload by January 8, 2022.  We are requesting this as a back up pending the COVID situation.  If your team comes to competition on January 15, 2022, they will make a presentation to the judges at that time.  Missouri January weather is always a challenge and as the national Future City Competition has returned to a February event, the regions are back to a January timeframe.  Having the video presentation on hand will help ensure participation from all teams regardless of COVID situation.

The registration deadline is October 31, 2021.  Please note that there is a new contact management system in use for the Future City Competition.  This year you are required to create a new account.  There are a number of new features in the program.  Take some time to look around in the program and see what it can do for you!  If you have any questions, please email missouri@futurecity.org

Looking forward to all of the exciting “waste free” ideas your teams will share!

Learn more about circular economies at American’s Plastic Makers sustainable plan here

Register for the 2021-2022 Future City Competition at register.futurecity.org


Future City 2021-2022 Program: Designing a Waste-Free City

After an amazing 3rd Place NATIONAL finish in the 2020-2021 Future City Competition by Missouri’s Altero Domi from St. Clair, the Future City Competition is gearing up for its 2021-2022 challenge!  Join us on our adventure exploring this year’s timely topic!

Designing A Waste-Free City: An Overview

Imagine a city 100 years in the future that generates no waste and no pollution. Is this even possible? If we look to the natural world, the answer is yes! In nature, one organism’s waste is another organism’s food. Nutrients and energy flow in a cycle of growth, decay, and reuse. This is called a circular system.

Today’s built world works as a linear system (think of it as a straight line, rather than nature’s circle). This linear system follows a path of taking natural resources, making products, using them, and then throwing away anything that is left over after we are done with it – from empty water bottles to old cars. While some things in this linear system are recycled, today’s approach does not have a way to capture all the resources and materials that make up the items we throw away or the waste that’s created in the original production process. This results in a lot of trash and pollution and is using up the world’s natural resources.

But what if cities followed nature’s circular system? What if everything was reused or taken apart and remade into something else—from the house you live in, to the food you eat, the bus or car you ride in, the roads you travel on, the battery that powers your phone, and the clothes you wear? A city run on such a system would be truly waste free.

All around the world, engineers, city planners, innovators, entrepreneurs, and government leaders are using the principles of a circular economy to create waste-free cities. They are designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.

Your challenge: Design a waste-free city that uses the principles of a circular economy.

What is a Circular Economy? A circular economy is a way to design, make, and use things. It requires shifting our systems and will involve everyone and everything: businesses, governments, and individuals; our cities, our products, and our jobs. A circular economy is based on three principles:

  1. Design Out Waste and Pollution Waste and pollution are not accidents, but the consequences of decisions made at the design stage. What if we looked at waste as a design flaw? How can we use new materials and technologies to ensure that waste and pollution are not created in the first place?

  2. Keep Products and Materials in Use We can design some products and components so they can be reused, repaired, and remanufactured. Making things last forever is not the only solution, we should be able repurpose items or recycle materials so they don’t end up in landfills.

  3. Regenerate Natural Systems In nature, there is no concept of waste. Everything is food for something else – a leaf that falls from a tree feeds the forest. By returning valuable nutrients to the soil and other ecosystems, we can enhance our natural resources.

Learn more about circular economies at www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org


Register for the 2021-2022 Future City Competition at https://register.futurecity.org