With voting on our top 20 ReBurbia finalists set to close in less than 8 hours, we’d like to take a moment to pause and consider some of incredible submissions that didn’t quite make the list. Greening the suburbs is no easy task, and we were thoroughly impressed with the wealth of varied approaches that our entrants submitted. From elegantly repurposed highway overpasses to scorched-earth end of the world parties, to golf courses-turned energy-generating cemeteries, read on for our notable entries from over 400 submissions!
Zellnerplus took a literal approach to trimming suburban sprawl with this Glass Houses plan for Clark County. Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate in the United States, so the proposal suggests that vacant suburban lots be vivisected into four quadrants that are then sealed in double-glazed glass, providing space for denser and more varied communities. The glass plating provides thermal and acoustic insulation and allows in a controlled amount of daylighting via electric privacy film.
LET THEM BURN
Perhaps its time to start from scratch. Faced with the near insurmountable list of problems that suburbia faces, Stéphane Degoutin and Gwenola Wagon reach for the reset button with their “LET THEM BURN” entry. Rather than let abandoned suburbs decay into ghost towns-turned tourist traps, the duo propose to use vacant developments “for great popular parties, during which the houses will be set to fire one by one. This new ritual is inspired by the Detroit “Devil’s Nights” and European traditional festivals.” The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!
Elevated highways are an ubiquitous feature of ‘burbs across the nation, and many urbanists consider them a blight upon the suburban landscape. Rather than ripping highways down or removing them from sight, Jesse Zeien’s Re-Engaging a Lost Land entry aims to rehabilitate our aging highway system as a valuable part of the urban fabric. The proposal envisions tree-planted corridors, elevated freeway restaurants and sky parks similar to NYC’s recently opened Highline.
What do cemeteries, golf courses, and landfills have in common? They’re all part of Andrew J. Faulkner’s proposal for a sustainable infrastructural center for self-sufficient communities. His Ecolinks project revitalizes golf courses with roaming herds of Shetland cows, biofilter sewage treatment plants, cloud-seeding weather equipment, and energy-generating landfill methane plants.