An inside look at the futuristic infrastructure of global metropolises

With tons of future smart city ideas in the ether, we explore what cities around the world will look like in the near future.

There’s no doubt that urban planners and architects around the world see the sky as the limit, quite literally, when crafting blueprints and proposals for their visions of what our global metropolises will look like in the near(ish) future. So, let’s explore these pipe dreams (because there will DEFINITELY be a lot of pipes involved) in this breakdown.

Beijing 2050

Beijing has always been on top of their game when it comes to planning their city, with a seal of approval already given by the central leadership for the next two decades, they’ve established a clear vision through 2035. But, that hasn’t stopped architects from making new proposals around eco-space initiatives to combat Beijing’s smog problems.

In their proposal, MA Design (MAD) Architects have reconceptualized the Chinese capital as an emphatically greener and more sustainable international metropolis with elevated gardens to function as pollution cleaners. Not to mention being incredibly stunning and a true feat of architectural excellence.

Live Inside A Turbine

Speaking of architecture, a huge shift will most likely occur in the way that architects build structures. Buildings will actually start helping the planet by acting as agents against climate change. A perfect example of this can be seen in Rotterdam’s plans to create the Dutch Windwheel, a building that acts as a giant wind turbine that people will actually be able to live inside. Solving two modern challenges, by being both a green energy generator, as well as a community housing project.

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Image ©Windwheel Corporation

The building will house apartments, a hotel, and oh yeah, a rollercoaster. Unlike your typical wind turbines that use wind-propelled blades to generate energy, the windwheel won’t have any mechanically moving parts, and instead will use a combination of wind and water to create electricity.

LA LEDs the way

Not just a proposal, LA has signed a deal to retrofit over 4,500 miles of streetlamps with a twilight-hued matrix of light-emitting diodes. Not only will roads be brighter, but they’ll also be much more connected. As emergency vehicles speed down the street, lights will start to flash in a manner typical of siren lights to heighten awareness of their approach from miles away.

Good morning NY. Afternoon LA. Goodnight NY.

Real life Tony Stark, Elon Musk, plans on building a solar-powered, high-speed hyperloop that would be able to get you from NY to LA in just 45mins. This type of engineering marvel would be very similar to bank’s old pneumatic tube system, jettisoning people in high-pressure tubes.

Such an invention would give a whole new meaning to the term “bicoastal,” effectively allowing people to live on one coast, while they work on the other. Have a hot NY date? Walk Venice beach together and get back in time for a night cap at the Gramercy. This project is still a ways off from happening and would be incredibly costly, but the good it could do for the US economy could make it well worth it.

When “The Jetsons” become obsolete

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, children were told they’d be able to house an entire computer in their pockets. Now we can. Children of the 80s were promised jetpacks and flying cars. Now we have them. So, if reality is to stay true to form, once it is said, it shall be created.

Topics: Editor's picks, Smart cities

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