Magining future cities has long been a favourite activity for architects, artists and designers. Technology is often central in these schemes – it appears as a dynamic and seemingly unstoppable force, providing a neat solution to society’s problems. New challenges mean we need to reimagine the look of urban landscapes. Instead of thinking about flying cars and wild technology, we need to shift our focus to things like social inequalities and environmental sustainability. This could mean we need to figure out what can actually be sustained. We need to decide where cities cannot be built.
The coronavirus pandemic threw off all we know about the future of cities. Climate change continues to evolve our thinking of future cities as well. Our world as a whole is bringing things to the table that we didn’t think about decades ago. Major challenges of how we live and work together could change the way cities are built.
Architect and urban planner Eugène Hénard brought the thought of future cities to the world in Europe in 1910. He told the Royal Institute of British Architects in London about a vision for future technological advances. He saw aerial transportation and a high emphasis on wild technological advances. These thoughts shaped many discussions for future cities often portrayed in cinema and television shows.
A step forward
Technology cannot be the only thing to shape the standards for the future of the urban landscape. It’s important to look at it through other lenses. It’s critical to provide a sustainable and safe world for future populations. This means shifting the way we think about future cities. It means trying to get everyone in these new areas involved in neighbourhood projects. It means having sustainable urbanisation and making settle planning all-inclusive.
Environmental renewal should be a priority for future cities. These cities could move like a mobile oasis. They could replenish desert water. They could use solar power and collect water through the air. The options are endless, but people must focus on them to put them in motion. Future cities could bring in a mixture of fertilizers, cereal seeds, and water to the farmland. Livestock farms and agriculture would support the locals and help the inhabitants live sustainably. Technology is definitely a part of making this work, but it isn’t about flying cars and advances that suck energy away from the cities.
Climate change is often an issue as the sea levels rise. Some architects fear places like New York could be submerged at some point. The rivers surrounding these areas could engulf the cities. New cities would need to be built in the rivers. The city would need to be built with renewable energy resources, zones made with productive nutrients, and energy-efficient vehicles. Public transport would even replace owning personal vehicles. These projects are all direct results of impending climate change. Innovation must keep up with natural issues in the world as well.
Future cities might prioritize equality, something Henard probably didn’t speak about in his 1910 address. England released a sketch of a city that should inhabit about 60,000 people. In the sketch, the city is based around the existing rail and ports with a mixture of urbanization. It features waster to power generation. This would help prioritize affordable housing for all people. It would also help the city stay as low impact as possible.
Many of the brightest and best engineers are always looking forward to the future of cities trying to build the best. Their challenge is to look past just the technology. It’s critical they look at the bigger picture. Everyone must be included to make these cities work. This will help keep cities safe and happy. Tomorrow’s world might not look like today’s world. This is a positive thing that we are looking to include more people and make cities brighter and better.