Community of the future



The future of Atlantic Canada is becoming more and more brilliant. Using the maker mindset, students in our classrooms are developing tangible ways to solve real world problems that exist in our own backyards. 


For example, Beth from New Brunswick has used laser technology to help enforce Ellen’s Law, which ensures the safety of cyclists on city streets.


Imagining a future application of student inventions like Beth’s, gets us excited. It’s possible, that in the future, devices such as autonomous cars and even robotic delivery vehicles will be sharing an already busy network of roads. It doesn’t take much for us to envision how Beth’s invention can be applied to these complex systems of future transportation. 

The intention of this challenge is to engage and inspire your students to design and build what they consider to be the Community of the Future in Atlantic Canada. Challenges that are apparent in one area of our geographical region may be very different in others.  Urban centres may already have ubiquitous connectivity for all; whereas, some rural communities struggle with aging technological infrastructure and still connect to the Internet via dial-up.  Some centres are prone to flooding, while others may battle droughts during the summer months.  When we were designing this challenge, we found ourselves asking questions like:

Goal of Challenge
  • What problems do we see in existing communities?

  • How do we create sustainable and livable communities?

  • How will aging demographics affect your community of the future?

  • How can we reduce energy consumption, landfill waste, and carbon emissions?

  • Can we create a climate positive neighbourhood with attention to things like all-weather infrastructure?

  • How will technology be used to help improve certain processes?

  • How do we retain our cultural identify as Atlantic Canadians and create places to live for people of all ages, abilities and incomes?

Beth Sevens, Riverview East student poses with her project that has been awarded a provisional patent. 

Design and create a scale model of the Community of the Future. Use your preferred materials to design and build the infrastructure of your Community of the Future. Go no-tech with just cardboard and crafting supplies or go low to high tech and use technology to automate parts of your community. Be innovative!


Before approaching this task, it is important for you and your students to consider and collaborate on the following:

Your Challenge

Your Challenge


  • Each community will measure a maximum of 10ft x 10ft. 


  • The entire surface area must be accounted for in your community design.


  • Get creative with the arrangement of your community. 


  • Utilize your grid to plan for roads, blocks, green space, water systems etc (maximum of 10ft x 10ft).


  • Community blocks can be arranged in any way within the your area.


  • Must be a community in Atlantic Canada (e.g.: Our communities are not gigantic, we depend on natural resources, we all face similar environmental issues, but also face unique challenges).


One possible scenario for your community arrangement is found below. Notice how the grey tiles represent community blocks. The rest of the space is open for your interpretation and should be guided by student conversations. 


Please note, the categories in the legend below only pertain to this particular scenario. Who knows what your students will come up with. 


As your community comes to life we want you to tell it's story. 

s your community comes to life, we want you to tell its story. We expect that a lot of creativity and imagination will go into this challenge. We are excited to see what everyone comes up with and want you to share your vision. As part of the sharing process, we ask that you submit a two- to-three-minute video narrative of the process you took to design and make your community (in both French and English if possible).

This narrative should tell the story of your community, the decisions your students have made and highlight any improvements or innovation they feel will help move their design forward into the future.

The Final Installation

Your community design is only one of multiple submissions from across Atlantic Canada. In May, Brilliant Labs will host a Maker Faire in which many students will have the opportunity to combine their community with other submissions on a gymnasium floor. 

Imagine, all of these model communities coming together to represent the Atlantic Canada of the future. 


For more information on this process, please stay up to date with @brilliant_labs on twitter and brilliant.abs on Instagram

Extra Challenge

Not only is it important to think about the design of a community but we should also consider how they connect to each other. In order to do this, we need students to build a futuristic transportation system to link all of our model communities. Currently, we are connected through roads and highways but perhaps the future of transportation looks a little different.

If you are interested in creating a transportation system of the future, reach out to us. 

Download Teacher's Guide

Want a printable guide to help you get started? Download The City Of The Future teacher guide here and join the hundreds of students and their teachers as they prepare to design the future. ​

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If you are interested in creating a transportation system of the future reach out to Brilliant Labs.