Cities of the Future Challenge

The Challenge asks participants: How can we embed circular economy principles to build thriving, livable and resilient cities that attract Millennials and Generation Z?


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The Challenge leverages resources from the Richmond Indicators Project, an effort to measure progress on economic and social goals related to the Richmond region’s priorities, and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s work in Circular Economies.

The CSEI participants work as part of a city team – Austin, TX; Hartford, CT; Jacksonville, FL; Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; or Raleigh, NC – to understand what Millennials and Generation Z want in cities of the future. They digest circular economy concepts and then pitch a big idea for their assigned city that will redefine growth and bring positive society-wide benefits.

Key takeaways from the CSEI 2018 students participating in the City Indicator Challenge include:

  • Mind the law of unintended consequences.
  • Cities are complex and there are many variables that make a city healthy.
  • Solutions to real world problems can be abstract.
  • Even if a project doesn’t make money, it can still have a positive impact on the community.