Extinction: First town or city to be declared by an international city planners association to be...

...the best community to restart the human race if it were hit by a plague (man-made or natural) that killed all but one out of every million people.  The survivors likely having a rare genetic mutation that makes them immune to the plague.  This Human Extinction Prevention Program (HEPP) Award going to the city that has a population of at least 6,000 (what would survive if the Earth's 6 billion people were hit by such a plague), a temperate climate (not too cold during winter or too hot during summer), lots of nearby fertile farmland, a river that runs through or by it that has or could have a hydro-electric dam (providing the community a never-ending power source), a source of clean drinking water (either from natural springs or water wells), and is far enough inland to not be threatened by hurricanes or tsunamis nor is prone to frequent tornadoes, flooding, or droughts.  The higher percentage of residential homes and business buildings powered by solar roof shingles, the higher the community's score.  The more self-sufficient the community, the better their score.  The national, state/province, and local politics of the community cannot be part of the selection process since governments would never survive such a plague to impose their will on the relocated survivors sent to the town/city.

To win this challenge, the association (e.g., Community Development Society) must promote this project globally and make the nomination process open to all middle and high schools as well as universities and average citizens.  The association must make an effort to send its members to speak to classrooms actively participating in the nomination process.  Very likely some schools will want to nominate their own community, but that should be allowed as it gets those students very interested and excited by rooting for their hometown.  [This is meant to be a fun what-if speculation activity by the association and interested cities, classrooms, and the public.  A thought exercise which should spark fun debate and get people to think outside their normal world views.  Because this isn't a real serious issue of concern for humanity but more of a fun activity, this challenge is located in the Entertainment category.]  Any town or city in the world can be nominated.
[And then there is the potential for the winning town/city to be the focus of science fiction novels, movies, and TV series as outlined in the following future challenges.  In addition to pure civic pride, the Chambers of Commerce of potential winning towns and cities might really jump on board this activity due to the prospect of the following future challenges coming their way if their community wins the HEPP Award.  This could thus spark a lot of spirited debates and speeches by the leaders of the communities in serious consideration for the award to make their case to the association on why their community should be the one picked.  By countless classrooms participating in this exercise, it wouldn't be surprising if the final awards ceremony gets televised by a cable TV network (e.g., Syfy Channel, Science Channel, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, or History Channel) or PBS.  There the association's leadership could tell a theater full of members from the nominated cities and TV viewers about the ten communities (from ten different countries with the USA being one of them and probably also at least one from Europe) that made the final cut and then take the audience and viewers through the scoring process.  The ranking of the ten finalist communities being updated throughout the awards ceremony and thus communities going up and down in the ranking (thus adding a little drama to the event) as the association reveals their score for each of the selection criteria.  The association leaders explaining each selection criteria to viewers so they understand what they are, why they're important, and how important they are to the selection process.]

Future Challenges: Having the above-declared city as where all the survivors go and/or are sent to restart the human race after a mankind-killing plague hits, first science fiction:

1) Free ebook novel to get a million downloads.  [Expect science fiction writers (novelists and, for the below future challenges, screenwriters) to come and live in the town/city that wins the HEPP Award to get a feel for it and how it is laid out.  Fans of the novels, movies, and/or TV series will likely make a special trip to the town/city to experience it first-hand as their favorite fictional characters did.  If there was a dramatic chase scene, fans will likely want to walk/drive it to see just how possible it would have been in real life.  The more popular the novel, movies, and/or TV series, the more tourists will come to the town/city and thus this would be another reason for communities on the short list of the HEPP nomination process to campaign for their community to win the award.]

2) TV mini-series to premiere on a US broadcast network.  Must have at least four two-hour parts and must premiere in four contiguous prime-times.

3) Major motion picture premiering in at least 4,000 movie theaters.

4) Weekly hour-long prime-time TV drama series premiering on a US broadcast or cable TV network.  To win this future challenge, the series must last at least four 26-episode seasons.  [The underlying theme of such a series might be well suited to the bizarre (e.g., Twin Peaks) and/or conspiracy-laden (e.g., X-Files) as to what and who caused the plague ... with possibly the "who" being among the relocated survivors in the city.]

First nationally-syndicated radio talk show host with a morbid sense of humor/fun to tongue-in-cheek champion this challenge and:

5) Have a regular segment on their show where listeners call in to nominate a town or city or town which they believe is the one best suited for the above HEPP.  The host is to be find out why the listener believes their nomination is the best one and then the host is to challenge the listener how what might be the downside of their selection.  [Likely what the host will be doing is calling up information about town/city and using that to point out downsides of it being the HEPP location.]  To win this future challenge, the feature segment must have aired on 100 episodes of the show and then the host spends one week on her/his show to replay the best call-in suggestions.  During the re-cap week, all the call-ins must be available for listening on the show's website and the website must allow people to vote which one they think would be the best HEPP location.  At the start of the week following the re-cap week, the host must then travel to and air her/his show from each of the five top vote-getting towns and cities.  Then people are asked to vote for the best of the five locations over the weekend and the winning town or city gets the host to broadcast her/his show from their location for a month.

6) Broadcasts her/his show for a month from the town or city that wins the contest of the original challenge.

7) Is the parade marshal for a "Doomdays Parade" in the city/town that wins the contest of the original challenge.  The parade is to be a humorous one and the winning parade float is the one that shows the most humorous way the human race could come to its end.

8) Be the radio talk show host heard over the radio in a doomsday movie that is filmed in the town/city that wins the original contest.

9) Is one of the first people to die on camera from the plague in a HEPP doomsday movie where the restart city in the movie is the one that won the original HEPP contest.  To win this future challenge, at least part of the host's performance in the movie has to be a cameo appearance as a radio talk show host and s/he must have at least 100 on-camera words of dialogue.  [Death scenes are so loved by actors and actresses because they are one of the biggest ham-it-up scenes they can ever do and since radio talk show hosts are some of the biggest hams around, this performance is a perfect match for them.  On a more serious note, talk radio has long been one of the ways that movies are able to do a lot of exposition in a manner that audiences find acceptable so the host being a doomed heralder of the plague is a quite logical part for the host to play in such a movie.]

If you would like to discuss this challenge with others, click here to go to this challenge's discussion forum.

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