Press release

Schoolchildren imagine our cities of the future in poster competition

Published on 23 June 2022

Over one hundred primary and secondary school students have shared their ideas on how science, technology, engineering and maths could change the future of our cities in the years and decades to come

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The University of Dundee’s School of Science and Engineering, together with the Tayside and Fife branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers, have hosted their annual STEM poster competition. The topic of this year’s competition was ‘The Welcoming City of the Future’.  

Around 170 pupils from schools across Scotland submitted their imaginative ideas for the competition, with winners announced on International Women in Engineering Day, 23 June. 

Ideas ranged from overhead tube systems, vertical greenery on buildings where farmers can grow crops, reintroducing messenger birds and a focus on clean, green space to be shared by all. 

Dr Kate Ward, from the University’s School of Science and Engineering, said, “It is great to see so many potential engineers explore what the cities they will live in might look like.  

“The competition this year has been a real success – across all the posters submitted there was a real awareness of the challenges cities and society will face in the future, as well as lots of ideas about how to solve them, including increasing access to greenspace and revolutionising transport.” 

Participants were encouraged to consider themes including access for young and old, green space, technology for getting around, safety, dealing with the weather, and sports, games and recreation. 

Ailsa A (7) from Freuchie Primary School, Cupar, scooped first prize in the primary school category and Keira K, an S2 pupil from Forres Academy, Forres, was awarded first prize in the secondary school category. 

Ailsa’s poster explored the idea of cities having an open green space in their centre, shaped like a heart, acting as a hub of activity that caters to all ages. She also imagines cities having an overhead transport system powered by solar panels and robots that collect street rubbish for recycling.  

Keira’s idea for a welcoming city looks at eco friendliness. Her futuristic city hosts conservation stations, places for wildlife to flourish, large windfarms, and a focus on electric vehicles.  

Winners of the competition will receive Amazon vouchers, courtesy of the Tayside and Fife ICE branch. 

Claire Higson, Chair of the Tayside and Fife branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Senior Engineer at Dundee City Council, said, “It is great that the competition continues to engage a large number of schools across Scotland.  

“The posters submitted demonstrate a strong and enthusiastic future STEM workforce with lots of ambitious and creative ideas flowing through. Never mind the future – can we employ these pupils to start changing our cities for the better now?” 

Best poster - runners up

Hamish S, Alyth Primary School

Isla K, Robert Gordon's College

Best art & design - runners up

Charlie M, Alyth Primary School

Luca B, Shawlands Academy

Most interesting idea

Ali C, Baljaffray Primary School

Annabel S and Millie A, The Mary Erskine School

Runners up

Adam S, Pollokshields Primary School

Ayran A, Bearsden Academy

Special mentions

Eve, Pollokshields Primary School

Cara S, Shawlands Academy

Maisie B, Chloe C, and Neda, Breadalbane Academy


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878