New York - Capital Region

Regional Coordinator: Addyson Lyons

This year's theme is....And registration is now open!

Registration for 2017-2018 Future City® Competition is Now Open

This Year’s Theme, “The Age Friendly City,” Asks Middle School Students to Envision an Urban Environment that Keeps Older Adults Active, Engaged, and Independent


Albany, New York– Long-held assumptions about aging are being radically redefined. Older adults are living longer, staying in the workplace longer, and living independently for longer than ever. The population is also growing and altering society’s overall demographics. By 2050, older adults will outnumber children under the age of 14.

In anticipation of this new reality, the World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined a plan to help cities respond to the particular needs of older adults. The organization’s approach recognizes that, as people age, they inevitably experience physical and cognitive change and risk isolation and loneliness. Planning for an older demographic means conceptualizing accessible and safe transportation options, barrier-free access to buildings and infrastructure, appropriate social welfare programs, and open access to health care support and services.  

With this pressing societal issue in mind, the award-winning Future City® Competition, now in its 26th year nationally, announces its theme for 2017-18. This year, Future City is asking middle school students to respond to the issue of The Age-Friendly City and address the challenges in designing innovative solutions that can serve an urban area’s older population. Students are tasked with identifying age-related issues in their city and to engineer a framework that enables seniors to remain active, independent, and engaged.

“We are very excited to help our local students explore the possibilities of bringing innovative community spaces to seniors,” said Future City-Albany Regional Coordinator Diane Bertok. “Modern day urban planners are looking for intuitive ways to keep older adults linked to their communities through accessible transportation systems, convenient healthcare facilities, and communities that encompass all ages. Our students are going to need to see the world through seniors’ eyes in order to design the most effective ways to keep older adults consciously integrated in the day-to-day functions of their cities.”

Working in a team with an educator and engineer mentor, students present their public space solutions and vision of their future city in a virtual city design (using SimCity™ software); a 1,500 word city essay; a scale model of their city (built with recycled materials); and in a short presentation to a panel of STEM professionals. Teams from 41 regions present their ideas at Regional Competitions in January. Winners represent their regions at the National Finals in Washington D.C. in February, where they are joined by a growing roster of international teams, including those from Canada, Egypt, and China. The 2017-18 Regional Competition is scheduled for Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Armory at Sage College in Albany.

Future City has ongoing opportunities for engineering and technical professionals to volunteer in a number of different roles, including as mentors, judges, and competition day volunteers. For more information about Future City or to volunteer, visit

Over 40,000 students, representing 1,350 schools, take part in the Future City® Competition. The deadline to register is October 31, 2017.  Register today or learn more at Visit our Facebook page for more information and updates on the Future City Competition.

There were a total of 20 schools and 27 teams, with a total of 375 local students, competing in the regional finals at Proctors Theater in Schenectady this past January. The New Lebanon Jr/Sr High School won the 2016-17 Regional Capital District Future City Competition and represented our area at the national competition in Washington D.C. Other local finalists were: Richard H. O’Rourke Middle School (2nd place); Flood Brook School (3rd place); Broadalbin-Perth Middle School (4th place); and Academy of the Holy Names (5th place).

About DiscoverE

DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit

About Future City® Competition

DiscoverE’s annual Future City® Competition, for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, is held from September 2017 through February 2018. Future City is a major program of DiscoverE, a consortium of professional and technical societies and major U.S. corporations, and culminates every year during Engineers Week. This year Capital District Region celebrates participating in the program for 17 years! Visit the Capital District Future City website at: