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With the amount of technology at our disposal, it’s not too outlandish to think we may one day live in cities from science fiction. The best futuristic cities will have the most inventive designs and the greenest policies. If you like looking forward, here’s a collection of cities with the most fascinating features and concepts. These exciting cities best represent what awaits our urban spaces in the coming decades.
Singapore is a city building for the future, having taken several steps towards achieving city-wide sustainability. They are partnering with MIT to develop ways to better manage its population. Some of its initiatives include discouraging residents from unnecessary car ownership, in the hope of reducing the number of cars on roads. One notable forward-thinking innovation includes the development of the EVA system. The concept is an electronic taxi that has a 15-minute charging time, and a driving range of 200 kilometres. This project went from a mere idea to a prototype in just two years. Besides transport, Singapore is also home to the futuristic-looking Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
This Scandinavian capital is a city of transparency. Helsinki is one of the most successful open-data cities in the world. Its administration and public decision data are freely available on the internet. Urban planning information and financial statements can be seen by anyone who’s interested. It also has city-wide free WIFI.
What separates Tokyo different from other cities is its futuristic architecture. The focus of its skyline is the Skytree tower, which is the tallest building in Japan and the second tallest structure in the world. The building fuses Japanese architecture with a neo-futuristic design. It also has advanced, high-speed railway systems. While Tokyo doesn’t have the best reputation for energy efficiency, it is extremely high-tech. For example, the Canon Plaza S has robot staff that give product demonstrations and answer questions. Also, the Panasonic centre showcases the latest technologies and visitors can test out new gaming software. Their transport is among the best in the world. They have the benefit of the Yurikamome train line, which is entirely computer-operated.
When Masdar began development in 2006, it was touted as a model for a carbon-natural urban landscape. Developers have since given up on their original goal. Design manager Chris Wan said, “We’re not going to try shoehorn renewable energy into the city just to justify a definition created within a boundary.” Despite this, Masdar is still one of the most forward-thinking cities on the planet. This $18bn project has a completion date of 2030. It will use electric cars and other clean-energy vehicles for mass transit within the city. The Masdar Institute, an MIT campus, lies in the heart of the city and it has 167 students. Other features include the 45-metre wind tower, which shows people how much energy the community is using. The city is a technological haven and has been compared to a science fiction novel.
Songdo, South Korea
Songdo is a new smart, low-carbon city. It has emerged as one of the most high-tech capitals in the world. It’s entirely connected to technology. It provides a glimpse of what futuristic living could look like in the coming decades. In Songdo, you can control heating, lighting and air conditioning with a push of a button on a control panel. The city has sensors that monitor waste, traffic low and energy use. There is no need for garbage cans or waste collectors on the streets, as the city’s disposal system has everyone covered. All household waste is sucked from kitchens to an underground network of tunnels, to waste processing centres. Songdo is a global leader of ‘Smart Cities.’
Famous for being one of the host cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Curitiba in Brazil is considered one of the first smart cities. It’s recognised for its excellent transport system. In the city, buses arrive every 90 seconds and drive down dedicated lanes. Instead of normal bus stops, there are glass tubes that help channel the flow of passengers. Curitiba’s transportation is an example for all cities and developing regions around the world.
If technology and clean-energy is a marker for the future, then these cities are definitively the most visionary. There are ‘smart’ projects happening all over the world. The above cities stand out for how they have addressed some of the biggest problems in society, such as booming populations. These innovative cities offer a first-hand glimpse of the future.
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