Climate change is a huge problem for the entire world but researchers are starting to move towards a solution. The idea of an entire country powered by a central grid looks like it may become obsolete eventually. Instead, there is a move toward self-sufficient cities that power themselves entirely on clean energy and run on exciting new technology. Sci-fi movies are packed full of predictions about what these future cities might look like but flying cars and floating buildings aren’t likely anytime soon. So, what is the city of the future actually going to look like?
The biggest change that is going to take place over the next few decades is the shift towards completely clean energy that powers towns and cities on a local basis rather than everybody getting their electricity from a local grid. There are already lots of cities that generate their own power like Masdar City or Samso Island in Denmark. Denmark also has plans to create another city called Vinge which uses intelligent energy systems to make itself completely self-sufficient. The eventual goal is to turn all cities into these independently powered areas so we can eradicate fossil fuels completely.
When the population is growing rapidly there is a need for quick housing. Putting up a traditional brick and mortar house is going to take a lot of time. Not to mention the materials and machinery involved cause a lot of damage to the environment. However, in recent years there has been a lot of advances in modular house technology. The pieces of a building can be put together in a factory using environmentally friendly, well insulated materials, and then put together quickly on site. This makes it so much easier to put up new cities in a far shorter space of time and they’re also more efficient buildings overall.
The way that we live in our homes in the city of the future will also be drastically different. One of the biggest retail trends of the last year has been smart technology. While the technology is fairly new, smart home tech like thermostats, lights, speakers etc. are very popular. The voice activation systems like Google Home and Amazon Echo are only in their infancy but you can already control large parts of the house just by asking. Another general trend in technology is integration and interconnectivity between devices. The combination of these two things is likely to result in cities and homes that are completely interconnected, with everything being controlled by the voice. Things like traffic lights and road signals could all be linked to your navigation system in the car, for example, that way it would know what the quickest route was.
One of the most common issues with using solar panels is that you need a lot of them and that requires space. However, initial research is being done on roads that are made of solar panels themselves. It’s also thought that they might be able to power electric cars as they drive over them. If the technology is perfected, they’re likely to be installed in cities all over the world.
These are only guesses at what the city of the future might look like but the truth is, nobody knows for sure.