Urban SOS: All Systems Go calls on multidisciplinary teams of students to envision more resilient food, water, and energy systems for supplying cities and regions today and in the future. Across the world, this critical infrastructure is increasingly at risk due to extreme weather, the impacts of climate change, and social and economic strife. In New York City, for example, if storms or a labor dispute were to disable the food distribution hub at Hunts Point for any significant length of time, 22 million people throughout the region would be left with less than three days’ worth of food. Despite the importance and vulnerability of these systems, they are rarely prioritized as part of a city’s overall resilience, in part because they are largely invisible: Too often we don’t pay attention to our pipelines, power grids, and food supply chains until they fail.
Urban SOS: All Systems Go challenges student teams to identify an urban population facing the possibility of disruption to its food, energy, or water systems, and offer strategies that strengthen these systems’ ability to withstand future shocks or stresses, while also making them more efficient, equitable, and accessible to diverse populations. Proposals must be located in one of 67 cities that currently make up the 100 Resilient Cities network. (See www.100resilientcities.org/cities for a full list.)
Three short-listed teams will be invited to present their proposals before an interdisciplinary panel at the A+D Museum in Los Angeles in October 2015. Urban SOS: AllSystems Go jurors will award US$15,000 in prizes, which may be divided among one or more teams. In addition, AECOM will make available up to US$25,000 of cash and in-kind staff time to support the implementation of a prototype of the winning team’s strategies.