Online design magazines Inhabitat and Dwell have announced the winners to the Reburbia Design Competition. Set up by the two websites in early August, the competition is dedicated to re-envisioning the suburbs; its role, to challenge architects, designers and communities to come up with solutions for present-day suburbia by envisioning different scenarios for the future. Entrants were asked to consider the role of cul-de-sacs, parking lots, shopping malls and overcrowded housing in an age when the limits of natural resources are no longer ignorable. Ideas proposed looked at a host of design solutions ranging from community agriculture and algae-based biofuels to zeppelin-based transport and pools transformed into water treatment plants.
The competition attracted over 400 entries from countries all over the world, but the grand prize went to Frog’s Dream, submitted by Calvin Chiu. The idea sees abandoned McMansions (suburban tract homes) converted into wetland areas and natural water filtration systems for urban centers. In this way, the McMansion would act as an eco-water treatment machine or Living Machine as they are commercialy known, purifying the water for its surrounding community. The project also sees the transportation of this water as a way of turning the highway system into a multi-functional infrastructure that transports cars, trains and bikes, as well as creating a highly concentrated city that relies on its ring of suburban wetlands. Discover Frogs Dream and other inspirational ideas at the Re-burbia website.