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2016

100 Fountains

What if being a New Yorker meant drinking from a network of beautiful fountains? The 100 Fountains competition will bring international artists and designers together for a summer-long exhibition of creative drinking fountain concepts.


Then: Millions of New Yorkers and tourists will judge the entries throughout the city, and never see a drinking fountain the same way again. Winning entries will result in new, permanent drinking fountains that will further New York City’s reputation as a global leader in design, innovation, and sustainability. Could this be the beginning of a drinking fountain revival in NYC? Yes. We may even put a dent in our disposable plastic water bottle habit, totaling 1.25 billion bottles a year.

Why are we doing this? New York City has some of the best drinking water in the world. Thanks to design foresight going back more than a century, we have well-planned aqueducts, distribution systems, and protected natural watersheds. But this may not last. Lack of funding for infrastructure upgrades and Aquifer pollution threaten the legacy of NYC’s great drinking water.


Meanwhile, buying bottled water is increasingly hard to justify! It comes packaged in petroleum, arrives by truck, generates tremendous waste, and increases corporate control of the water market. The more we spend on bottled water, the less investment we can expect to see in our public water infrastructure.

With 100 Fountains, we see an great opportunity to create new icons for New York City – icons that express sustainability, community, and chic urbanity.


100 Fountains and associated research has been generously supported by the Environmental Protection Clinic at the Yale Law School and the Wright-Ingraham Institute.

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