There have been serious alarms raised over global warming. Different world Leaders have been attending global summits and signing low carbon footprint agreements to reduce the effects of pollution. The construction industry is no exception. They have taken a center seat and are now developing the cities of the future.
Think of it this way, 40 to 50 years from now, the population will have skyrocketed, yet the land proportions will remain the same. To accommodate these masses, cities must redesign sustainable buildings to accommodate more people yet co-exist peacefully with nature. And not only buildings but also the future cars. The idea is that they will need to be faster and maneuver in the air since the land will be limited.
Let’s have a detailed look at these cities, shall we?
What Will the Cities of the Future Look Like?
There are some notable key elements present in the cities of the future. These include:
#1: The Water
Rainwater Harvesting and Recycling
As of 2022, the statistics on natural rivers and water sources are alarming. They are drying by the day, and rainfall is becoming unpredictable. The cities of the future are to be designed in such a way that they can harvest rainwater without the use of gutters since we can no longer accommodate massive roofs. Instead, these sustainable buildings will use absorbent rain gardens, bioswales, and pools to collect the rainwater. And then divert this water for filtration and recycling before channeling it into your water dispensers.
A Sponge city
Besides rainwater, the cities are also to be built in such a way that they protect upland water systems. As a result, they will revive natural habitats while protecting the city against floods ad tsunamis.
A thriving relationship between humans and nature will be a major consideration. Sustainable building technologies will ensure the cities are compact and dense with minimal impact on the ecosystem. Moreover, these buildings are designed to protect our natural resources such as water bodies, soil, and air.
#3: The Transportation network
Well, in as much as a view of flying cars doesn’t look like a distant dream today, the cities of the future have a different school of thought. The idea is to keep a comprehensive transportation network that prioritizes pedestrian space. So we are looking into a future city that encourages people to walk and cycle more instead of using cars.
This way, we become a healthy nation while reducing pollution generated by the automobile industry. Think of the noise from the hooting, screeching brake pads, over-speeding cars, and speed bikes to the smoke pollution common in city setups high-speed addition, commuting in the city will be more affordable and safer.
And if you don’t fancy cycling, you will have a fully automated high-speed rail network traversing different regions within the city. See, we are slowly advancing into a high-speed commute. With electric trains and alternative fuel cars already developed, we are looking into a future with high-speed rail stations.
Electricity is good but not sustainable, and so is gas energy. The cities of the future are looking into harnessing power from natural sources, especially solar and wind. The sustainable buildings will have solar windows and walls instead of the current bulky independent solar panels. That way, you don’t need extra space to tap your energy. Similarly, you don’t need to heat your home during the cold seasons because, first, the buildings are self-heating, and secondly, such an ecosystem cannot experience extreme temperatures.
Have you experienced virtual reality? Brace yourself for the future of recreation. And not just for the entertainment but as a more advanced way of reconnecting with humanity globally. Today we can comfortably tour a museum in France in the comfort of our homes. We will experience these and more in the near future because then, arts, entertainment, culture, and recreation will be shared worldwide via virtual and augmented reality.
#6: The Community
We have had our share of how dangerous a stressed community can be. The cities of the future will be addressing this problem by ensuring community integration through the use of shared spaces and social amenities. This way, the residents feel a sense of belonging and enjoy social equality.
In addition, since automation and artificial intelligence are projected to advance soon, people will not be required to work as hard as they do now. Our economy will be flexible enough to accommodate flexible working hours.
A Look at Some of the Cities of the Future
Given the above features, we already have these cities built and thriving.
Forest City Liuzhou, China
Designed by architect Stefano Boeri and constructed in 2017.
They have designed this city to accommodate massive forests and green vegetation, as the name suggests. Different species of trees and plants almost entirely surround the houses, schools, offices, hospitals, and hotels. The 175 hectares of land stretching along the Liujiang River can accommodate 30,000 residents, 40,000 trees, and 1 million diverse plant species. Amazing, right?
This city is estimated to absorb 10,000 tons of CO2 annually and over 57 tons of fine dust. The result is a clean city free from atmospheric pollution.
Net City, China
Designed by NBBJ, “Net City” is a product of Tencent, the internet goliath, also located in China Shenzhen province. Sitting on 320 acres of land, “Net City” mainly targets employees with offices for work, homes, and recreational centers.
It fits in the “Sponge City” feature since they plan to manage flooding and runoff as their primary water source.
Oceanix City, South Korea
Introducing the world’s pioneer floating city in Busan, South Korea. The key feature will be the infrastructure that rises with the sea. In other words, a flood-proof city. Talk of a sustainable building beyond expectations. Now, they will achieve this effect by using Biorock, a material that is not only buoyant but also self-healing. The older it grows, the stronger it becomes. According to the engineers behind this city, this material is three times stronger than ordinary cement concrete. Let’s wait and see what the beautiful city Oceanix will look like.
The Bottom Line
No matter what your feelings may be about global warming and sustainability, the cities of the future are being developed in an effort to create a more symbiotic relationship between nature and people. If pollution is indeed reduced through sustainable development, then the dream of a zero carbon footprint may only be a few years away from now. Do you think this is possible?