Foreclosures Become Nature

The Frog Dream

In case you haven’t heard of the ReBurbia design competition yet, you should definitely check the list of its finalists to grab your portion of instant inspiration. Supported by Inhabitat and Dwell, the competition is dedicated to re-envisioning the suburbs. Important contemporary issues such as the climate problem, shrink of household size and the economic meltdown affect the future of suburban areas, especially in the United States, and could lead to a downfall of suburbia.

“In a future where limited natural resources will force us to find better solutions for density and efficiency, (…) how can we redirect (…) existing spaces to promote sustainability, walkability, and community?”

One of the ideas that reached the top 20 of finalists is the Calvin Chiu’s Frog’s Dream, which proposes to re-establish a sustainable relationship between city and suburbia by transforming foreclosures (‘McMansions’) into wetlands and natural water filtration systems for urban centers. The idea maker speaks of a ‘Living Machine’ of eco-water treatment machines, in which a “micro-ecosystem of plants, algae, bacteria, fish and clams are present to purify the water. A micro-wetland ecosystem will be formed around these mansions to sustain larger wetland animals and plants.”

The Frog Dream

The idea of letting nature do its work in a former tour de force of absolute civilisation and control is very attractive and ground-breaking. The wetland plans are not the only part of the proposal. The project also involves infrastructural ideas. One of them deals with transformation of highways into a multifunctional system for cars, trains and bikes. The designers are also thinking of building a network “to facilitate water transport between a city and its surrounding suburban wetlands”.

Vote for the best idea of the last 20, click here!