Dwell and inhabitat’s REBURBIA competition last month drew hundreds of schemes for making the suburbs more sustainable, and now they want your votes to pick a “readers’ choice” winner from the 20 finalists. (The official winners will be picked next week by a jury, and featured in Dwell’s December/January issue).
Nearly half of the entries suggest filling in suburbia by re-purposing space from roads, parking lots, big-box stores and McMansions. Others propose tricking it out with new technology: turbines installed over freeways to harness the wind energy created by cars whizzing underneath; a device to enable parked cars to generate enough energy overnight to power houses; a new airborne system of mass transit.
There’s a strong strain of retro-futurism detectable in the current front-runners. Alexandros Tsolakis and Irene Shamma’s sleek airships make you want to don a jetpack and silver jumpsuit. And Light + Space’s towers of sustainable residences bear a striking resemblence to Safdie’s Habitat ’67.
This is the popular vote, so just like in high school, the sexy designs are getting the attention while the zoning-policy proposals sit all by themselves in the cafeteria. Head over to the competition website through August 17th to check out the finalists, and maybe even consider parking your lunch tray next to some of the underdogs.