2008-01-21

Will Urban Planning Change Drastically in the Future?

What will the cities of the future be like?

Will environmental, energy, social climate transform into something very different from what we're experiencing today?

While I'm sure this is an oft-debated topic among some in our industry (design & construction), it's not one I'd spent a great deal of time pondering. Most of us are normally concerned with keeping what we've got and building what we need next with some well-researched, but, quasi-vague concepts of the future of a small area.

The other day, I was cruising around LinkedIn (a professional networking site... that is blocked by my IT guys at work, so you may want to wait until you go home to check it out) when a journalist solicited options on 'What Does the City of the Future Look Like?'

My knee-jerk reaction was that, due to energy concerns, as well as social factors, we'd spread out a little more, reforming into smaller communities.

We'd have an urban hub where shipping, manufacturing, services and transport would be centered, surrounded by many smaller towns. Transport wouldn't be necessary within the communities, because they'd only be a few blocks long, and you could walk to any local merchants, or take a train into the service hub.

On the train into the larger city, you'd pass by wind and solar farms, where energy is generated for your ride, as well as for your home; in addition to other community bubbles.

What about working, I don't want to take the train in every day?
Well, that's no problem since all white collar jobs have been reorganized to be telecommuting positions. Virtual meetings will be virtually indistinguishable from the real thing due to cameras, projectors and microphones.

What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Are those proponents of hyperstructures more in tune with future trends?

Share your thoughts, insight, education or whatever else you have in the comments section, or on your blog and link back. I'd love to absorb more viewpoints on this interesting topic.

Some (somewhat unrelated, but) thought-provoking articles:
Massive Change and the City
Massive Change - Design of the World
Futurist - Cities and the Future
A Tale of New Cities
Ghost Cities of 2100
Your Imminent Robotic Future
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