This years topic is all to do with your city's waste management system. The video I've linked will help get you brainstorming ways to make sure you don't waste your waste.
The City Narrative and Research Essay have been combined into one deliverable, the City Description. The specifics of the new format can be found in the Program Handbook, but here's what you need to cover in the 2015-2016 City Description:
Waste Not, Want Not - Lessen the negative impact that solid waste has on your city.
Humans create a lot of trash. Each of the nearly 320 million citizens of the United States for example, generates an average 4.3 pounds of trash per person, per day. That make solid waste management (the collection and processing of trash) one of the most important health, safety, and environmental services a city provides for its residents.
Over the years, cities and towns have managed their trash in a variety of ways, including dumping it into landfills, burning it in incinerators, or shipping it off to other states or countries in trucks and barges.
If improperly designed or managed, such waste management systems have the potential to contribute to air and water pollution and can be expensive and energy intensive. Today, engineers around the world are focused on the four R’s of waste management (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot) in an effort to design new ways to deal with solid waste that treat it not as trash destined for landfills or incinerators, but as a resource.
Your Challenge: Design an innovative citywide solid waste management system for your future city that is safe, environmentally sound, and energy efficient.