If the current trends are to be sustained, it is evident that cities in the future will expand drastically both in terms of size and number, as well as the challenges that affect them. However, constant innovation and technological advancement that is being introduced in the cities will be a reality in the future thus enabling people to tackle most of the problems to which they are exposed.
Currently, more than 50% of the world’s population resides in urban areas, and this rate is expected to increase to more than 66% by the year 2050. This implies that the increase in the number of people in urban areas will definitely put additional pressure in terms of the need for housing, employment, traveling, and the entire dynamic lifestyle. Therefore, modern technological innovation will play an instrumental role in enhancing the sustainability of urban areas.
Information Technology Taking the Center Stage
Several strategies will be required in order to address the challenges that face cities in the future. To start with, technology will be at the center of almost every operation that is conducted by human beings. Cities will require chief investment officers (CIO) who will be mandated with the task of directing investment to ensure that services are delivered effectively to all citizens. Information technology (IT) will play an influential role in directing the urban setting in the future; with the current trends showing that technology is being used to control most aspects of human life. For instance, traffic is currently being controlled remotely and this depends on the kind of communication and IT systems that have been implemented.
Embraced Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is another factor that will enable the modern city to be achieved in the future. Computers and software will be utilized to control traffic signals in order to enhance the better movement of traffic and thus improve maximum efficiency. The presence of electric vehicles, driverless cars, and other exotic strategies such as flying cars will definitely reduce traffic congestion in the future. People will not have to line up in government offices in order to acquire permits, since cell phones and computers will be utilized to remotely apply and download such documents. Basically, new innovation will be instrumental in improving efficiency in terms of service delivery thus enabling people to access services in an efficient way. Hyperconnectivity and the use of wireless internet will enable people to interact in real-time irrespective of space and time. This implies that in the future, urban cities will consist of digital-savvy individuals.
Currently, people use computer applications (apps) to hire taxi rides, book hotels, and perform banking transactions. This is expected to expand drastically as these services are expanded in different parts of the cities. In the future, cities will be equipped with the latest technologies that will enable people to be served by the corporate world without having to leave the comfort of their homes. This is because the presence of big data will play an instrumental role in enabling people to conduct various business operations thus enabling service delivery to become more efferent, responsive, and effective. The future of the cities will basically be based on the delivery of services that significantly depend on the utilization of the latest technological innovations.
Science Playing a Critical Role in Solving Common Problems
Scientists and other experts are currently being challenged to devise strategies that will be essential in tackling problems that will face cities in the future. Some of the negative impacts will include global warming, congestion, pollution, food shortages, and overpopulation. However, numerous programs are being implemented to reduce these problems in order to improve employment opportunities, enhance living conditions, and create a lively multicultural society.
Zero Carbon Building
A further effective approach that will be used in the future includes the construction of buildings that take into consideration the amount of energy consumption and the use of renewable sources of energy. An innovative approach includes the development of Hong Kong’s Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) whose basic sources of energy include biofuel and photovoltaic panels. The biofuels are produced from waste cooking fats and different parts of the buildings are equipped with facilities that have the capacity of generating energy. These are some of the features that are expected to expand drastically as the world moves towards the achievement of zero net emission of carbon gases.
Another aspect that is increasingly becoming popular is using the ‘vertical farming’ strategy to address the problem of land and food shortage. This farming method enables plants to grow upwards and thus tackle the problem of land shortage. Currently, Michigan is home to the biggest and most developed vertical farm with more than 17 million plants. This is a concept that will be instrumental in addressing the shortage of space in urban areas thus enabling the cities in the future to be more sustainable. From the above analysis, it is evident that sustainability will be the main concept that guides the development of cities in the future. Modern technology will play a leading role in ensuring that human beings are able to lead a sustainable lifestyle irrespective of the challenges that they face.