ESD Michigan Regional Future City Competition

This year’s Michigan Regional Future City Competition will be held live, virtually, on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

What is Future City?

Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Watch this video to learn more about Future City.

Why are Judges Needed and What Do They Do?

The role of the judge is to draw on their expertise and resources to fairly evaluate the teams’ efforts.  Judges are needed for each of the four stages of the competition which include City Essay, City Presentation Video, City Model Slideshow, and the City Q&A.

All stages will be judged remotely, and the competition will be judged live virtually in the morning on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

For more information on the role of the judge, please download the Judges Flyer by clicking on the link to the right.

To volunteer as a judge, please enroll no later than Friday, December 17, 2021, at the website link below (please be sure to select the Regional judging category and choose Michigan as your region in order to be a part of our competition):

If you have questions please contact Leslie A. Smith, CMP, at 248-353-0735, ext. 152 or

Program Changes for The 2021-22 Program Year

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty surrounding the school year and extracurricular activities, Future City has been restructured so that teams can complete the deliverables in-person (i.e. in a classroom or afterschool program) or remotely (i.e. collaborating online while learning from home).  For a complete list of program changes and deliverable updates click here.

The 2021-2022 Future City theme is Waste Free City. The Future City challenge is to design a waste-free city that uses the principles of a circular economy. What is a circular economy exactly? To learn more click here.

Who can participate?

The Michigan Regional Future City Competition is open to Michigan students in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th who are from the same school, a home school environment (a Home School Affidavit form will need to be completed), or are members of a nationally, regionally, or state recognized youth-focused organization, such as the Boy or Girl Scouts; Boys and Girls Clubs; 4-H, etc.  The competition is team-based and each team consists of at least three students, an educator and a volunteer mentor. A team can include an entire class or as few as three students. 4th and 5th grade students are welcome to participate in the Regional Competition however they are not eligible to advance to the National finals in Washington D.C.

How Do Teams Register?

Educators can register a team at

Does Future City Align With National Standards?

Future City aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards, Benchmarks for Science Literacy and the International Society for Technology in Education’s National Education and Technology Standards.  You can view all of the standards here:

Where Can I Find Additional Resources About The Competition?

Additional resources including helpful webinars, and additional resources to research the essay topic, can be found