The future of cities is also the future of humankind. That is what Charlie Sorrel states in his article on fastcodesign.com. The reason is, that by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities or urban areas.
Sorrel says cities are the most efficient way to handle lots of people, and urbanization is the only way to deal with the climate crisis, and to house a growing world population. Why? Imagine trying to supply the needs of a million people spread out across the countryside instead.
The development of cities has grown exponentially fast. At the beginning of the 20th century, U.S. cities spent as much on water as the federal government spent on everything except the Post Office and the army. Today, Detroit has an app that lets people track their water usage in real time, which means that low-income people can avoid getting their water cut off.
Interesting thought of Sorrel: “Cities are not in competition with each other, and more open to one another than countries might be, they can also share their breakthroughs. The Detroit water app, for example, would be useful not just in drought-prone Los Angeles, but in any city around the world. And LA pipes in water from 1,400 miles away, using 19% of California’s state energy budget in the process. Future cities might, then, find ways for individual buildings to extract their own water from the air, eliminating the need to transport water altogether.” And synergies can be obtained not only from water, of course.
A good example of the sharing of smart city knowledge, is the fact that Kuwait hired South Korea to build their smart cities, modelling the concept of the city Bundang. A kind of ‘Smart City As A Service’. Building a smart city from scratch enables governments to evade the legacy of old infrastructure of existing studies. Why not? If it works in South Korea, it works in Kuwait.
In his article, Charlie Sorrell points out this video, where Oscar Boyson looks at what that future of cities could be. Specifically, he explores the future of London, Shenzhen, Singapore, Detroit, and Copenhagen: