With each passing day, new metropolises are being built all over the world. These metropolises are packed with every cool thing one could possibly think of, be it state-of-the-art conveniences, high-tech utilities, or even clean and usable public bathrooms. These cities help in providing us with a snapshot of what our future could look like if we don’t end up dead in a cyborg and/or zombie apocalypse. These futuristic cities have the potential to be just like the ones that we see in science fiction movies, which is why they hold a strong appeal in our collective imagination. The thought of humans being able to revolutionize everything such as how they live and where they live is an exciting one. What’s even more exciting is the idea that some of the most outlandish cities from science fiction might be within our technical reach tomorrow.
While some might find the idea of a futuristic city being farfetched, others don’t, especially when looking into the recent developments that we’ve made in fields such as technology, architecture, transport, communications etc. A recent development in the architecture industry brought forward by John Wardle Architects may change the way how cities grow and how we live. Usually, cities grow up vertically as often as they grow out into new lands. Though the birth of the skyscraper may have not changed this concept my much, the idea that has been presented by John Wardle Architects may be the next step forward. They call this idea “The Multiplicity concept” which envisions multiple cities being built into a single unit on different levels, both up and down. In the futuristic city concept art, the map of this futuristic city has a canopy at the peak, vertical buildings in between, and a city on the streets below. Though it might bring into the minds of some the concept of class separation and dystopia (just like in the movies) however, the architect’s vision suggests balance and beauty on all levels of life.
While we’re on the topic of large buildings and skyscrapers, an entry that was submitted at the eVolo 2011 Skyscraper competition, NeoTax has been looking to change the designs of our cities as well in order to bring them into the future. What NeoTax does is that it takes the traditional skyscraper design, and expands it outwards. This concept envisions modular, three-dimensional structures which are organized simultaneously on a horizontal and vertical street grid and each module can be viewed as a separate and independent neighborhood while the buildings can be easily connected to each other above ground-level. The model ensures that there’ll be plenty of green city space left that is untouched while at the same time making sure that there is a great deal of space efficiency and beautiful futuristic city skyline.
These are just some of the recent developments that have been taking place. As of now, researchers are working on an array of things that could take us right into the future. From self-driving cars and helicopters to toilets that use solar energy to turn your waste into energy and fresh water. The future is closer than you might think. This raises a lot of questions of which the most important one is probably that would you live in a futuristic city? In this article, we’ll be looking at some cities that are ahead of their time even in the present in order to help you answer this question. Even though you may fear what a futuristic city looks like, who knows? You even might find yourself living in one right now.
The first city on my list of cities which are the closest to the concept of futuristic cities is Tokyo. Since the end of World War 2, Japan has been leading the world when it comes to technological innovation. Though it might not be the powerhouse it used to be back then, it still hosts one of the most futuristic cities in the world today. Tokyo is both futuristic in its architecture and infrastructure. Not only that, almost everything in this city points to the future, from the cuisine to the advanced railway systems and bullet trains. Tokyo also boasts of next level haute couture stuff and is also home to some of the strangest museums on the planet. The brand new Skytree Tower is a glowing example of what the future of Tokyo looks like. The tower rises to a height of more than 2000 feet making it the tallest structure in Japan and the second tallest in the world.
Silicon Valley, California, United States
No list of futuristic cities can be complete without having Silicon Valley on it. The IT business and industry in Silicon Valley and the inventions that have been introduced surely make this area the backbone of futuristic cities not only in the US but worldwide as well. Silicon Valley is also home to some of the biggest technology companies on the planet, such as Google and Facebook. Though the area itself may lack some of the futuristic gloss of other cities such as Tokyo, it’s one of the very few places on Earth where technological talent is so densely concentrated. Every day new ideas, products, companies, and entire industries roll out of the region at the rate of car parts racing down a Ford-era assembly line.
Masdar City, United Arab Emirates
Masdar City is perhaps the closest thing to a futuristic city today, though still under contraction desert outside Abu Dhabi, it is the world’s first world’s fully zero-carbon and zero-waste city. The futuristic city aims to make use of a massive public rapid transit system in place of personal vehicles. The massive rapid public transit system will be powered by eco-friendly and renewable sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy. This will mostly be done through the use of giant sunflower-like “umbrellas” that will store the heat and rays from the sun, not only that they will also provide movable shade during the day while they store heat, and will close at night to keep that heat inside the city.
Hong Kong, China
Another architectural marvel in the East, Hong Kong has one of the most technologically advanced cities in the region. So much so that even in 2006, schools in Hong Kong used fingerprinting technology to take attendance. However, the city’s buildings are what that give us a vision of the urban future. Hong Kong has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world and a large number of them such as the Jockey Club Innovation Tower, are truly awe-inspiring and gravity-defying.
Probably the only city in the world with the highest data transparency, Helsinki is the snowy European capital which is at the forefront of a growing municipal trend. There are systems in place that help in connecting the people with the administration and the government by making the statistical and other data available on the internet for everyone. Everything from government agendas, meetings, and decisions that have an effect on the city’s life is there at the click of a button. Helsinki provides a glimpse with a transparent future where all information is visible to anyone who’s interested. The city even has created an app called BlindSquare which helps the visually impaired navigate the city on their own with ease. This makes the city one of the few metropolises that use high tech resources in order to make sure that the lives of their citizens improve. Not only that, Helsinki also makes sure that people are more involved in government affairs to ensure that a higher quality of life for residents is achieved. Helsinki also offers city-wide free WiFi for the residents as well.
With around forty-nine per cent of its residents being immigrants or people born outside of Canada, Toronto is one of the most diverse city on the face of the earth. Don’t just take my word for it, UNESCO actually gave it that title. Toronto is a city where people from different backgrounds congregate and their cultures start to blend which has caused prejudice to gradually erode. This diversity is what gives us a glimpse of what the future will look like. People from all casts, creed, race, religion and ethnicity living and congregating in cities all over the world peacefully and with ease.
Apart from the diversity factor, the city of Toronto also boasts some seriously sleek architecture along with a booming art scene, both of which add to the city’s forward-thinking appeal.
While the cities of today may not be swarming with robots and jetpacks, (except for Dubai where some police officials have jetpacks) that doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing them in the near future. However, before we can get to the point where we have robots to do our bidding (or vice versa), our cities need to be planned in ways that they are able to sustain both, a large number of people, and the environment without causing harm to any of the two. This is a trend that can be seen today. While you may not find the cities of future being exactly like the ones that are shown in the movies, the future of cities still looks bright.