Mars City Design® Challenges 2020


In this time of crisis, envisioning how to live abundantly on another planet seems to be a far-off predicament. However, this critical time can also offer a new perspective, a change that in the long term, is necessary for the sake of our existence and evolution as human beings. This initiative can also lead to technological discoveries and innovations. Pursuing a vision of tomorrow may save today before it is too late! 


Our time in quarantine might have shown us that our home planet can use this break to recover from the high levels of carbon emissions and rampant consumerism. This forces us to examine how our supplies are produced and distributed. Local goods and services make more sense in our present situation. 


Therefore, Mars City Design® is urging us to live and consume more consciously by pursuing more sustainable living habits.

The acquired skill set of how to live sustainably can then be used by our next generations to live on Mars. In the meantime, this would also provide Earth with the time necessary to regrow its natural resources and restore its balance. “The effort towards food sustainability on Earth can be enriched by hypothesizing about these complex issues on Mars”, said Thieme Hennis, who is a part of a group collaborating with MELiSSA (The Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative). “Space farming is a perfect lens toward sustainability on our planet... we’re exploring, and by doing that facilitating new solutions for the food crisis on Earth.” 

On Mars, the boundary between indoors and outdoors can signify life and death. The creation of spacesuits or Mars-suits is, in this context, crucial to face the outdoor challenges while protecting the human body. The habitats that are designed for this extreme environment become the "suit" for indoor activities; a living vessel that can sustain the long-term needs of the inhabitants. Designing a closed loop system for a habitat on Mars can begin with how the food supply system works in full circle. As Adele Peters of FastCompany said “Shipping food to Mars could cost nearly $1 billion per person per year–so if people want to live there, growing food on the planet is a necessary step." 


This is one of the many reasons Mars City Design® wanted to take this necessary step by creating the URBAN FARMING for EXTREME ENVIRONMENT competition . This contest is open to the public, teams and individuals can submit their designs of a food supply system that can produce a variety of menus for a crew of 9 people living for 2 years on Mars. The winning designs are then subject to be developed and built in the California desert! 

The Challenge:


Design some food supply systems that can produce a variety of menus for a crew of 9 people living for 2 years on Mars.

What kind of sustainable, remote controlled, augmented, indoor/outdoor modular urban farming could it be, what is the Earth application to it?


The Mars City Design Award, 
Access to the Exhibition, 
Recognition, International Publication, 
Connection to the space industry, 
The winning designs are subject to be developed and may be built in the Mars City® location in the California desert.


Winners announcement and online


 November 22, 2020

On this "MCD Hall of Fame 2020" Page

"To those brave humans

endeavoring to cultivate life on Mars,

remember who you are.

You are pioneers.

You are leaders.

You are a well spring for humanity,

a source for what comes

after you continue to build the future.

The challenge you are addressing

can be ascribed to the highest aspirations,

and by its accomplishment,

inscription in the annals of human accomplishment.

As we all gaze skyward,

imagining the lengths to which we will go to land,

settle and build a new,

human planet on Mars,

let no one and nothing hold you back

from showing us what you’ve got,

and what you’ll give

to this win for all."

-Mackenze McAleer.

Silicon Beach, California

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