Written By: Joanna Opena
The Southern Nevada Branch YMF kicked off the 2018 year by helping out at the Southern Nevada Region 18th Anniversary Future City Competition on January 20th, 2018. This competition is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. Participating at Future Cities has become an annual tradition for our Younger Members and we’re always excited to have new faces provide support with running logistics, assisting the students with moving their models into judging rooms, and judging the 1st round of presentations and models.
Every year, the Future City Competition has a challenge in which the students must address as part of their design. This year’s challenge: The Age Friendly City. Students were required to identify an age-related challenge that exists in today’s urban environments and engineer innovative solutions that would allow their future city’s senior citizens to be as active, independent, and engaged as they want to be. According to Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide published and distributed by the World Health Organization (WHO), two global trends will significantly shape the 21st century are population ageing and urbanization. At the same time cities are growing, their share of residents aged 60 years and more is increasing. By 2050, there will be more older people than children (aged 0-14 years) in the population for the first time in human history.
To ask an 11 – 14 year old to think like a geriatric person is not an easy task, especially when an old person to them is someone who is only 25 years old (i.e., prime Younger Member age). Regardless, the 30 participating teams did not let us down and came up with a plethora of innovative and futuristic solutions to the age-friendly challenge. For example, one city incorporated moving sidewalks to address mobility issues. Another team’s city requires all their aging citizens to be chipped so their biometrics are monitored daily.
This was a special year for the Southern Nevada Branch YMF as we came up with the rubric, judged, and presented a special award at this year’s competition – The Best City for People Under 35. Our very own treasurer, Noe Santos, was our designated judge for this special award and it was a tough decision. All the teams are winners in our eyes! We would also like to acknowledge one of our Younger Members, Jane Cretty, as she won Mentor of the Year. Congratulations Jane!
For those interested in volunteering at next year’s Future City Competition, the save the date is slated for January 26, 2019. Hope to see you there!