Almost 90 years ago, the Empire State Building was completed. At the time, it was an exciting sign of what cities of the future would look like, and people were shocked and astounded by what was truly possible. Today, the same kinds of advancements are being made, and they promise to shatter all previous expectations of what a city should look like. Of course, we have things like the Burj Khalifa or the Shanghai Tower to shock our senses, but what will cities and buildings look like in the future? Well, in as little as 5 years we will witness the birth of completely new, futuristic cities that seem to be taken straight from the pages of science fiction novels.
So-called "smart cities" are being constructed all over the globe. Some of these are being built from scratch, while others are being laid upon the foundations of the world's oldest major cities. Whatever the case, it seems that futuristic hyper-cities will not only be a luxury, but a necessity. With growing populations and mounting energy crises, cities must adapt or crumble. Sustainable energy and smart solutions to congestion and housing are what we need to move humanity's cities to the next level. Only one question remains... What will these cities actually look like?
20 The Jing-Jin-Ji Hypercity Will Be China's New Capital
Beijing, Tianjin and the immediate surrounding areas are set to change drastically in the coming years. Soon, a "hypercity" will be built connecting this massive metropolis area into one, huge city. Roads, high speed transit lines, and plenty of state-of-the-art buildings have already been constructed, with many more planned in the future. It's already the largest urbanized area in all of China, and it will get bigger and better as the years go on. Keep your eyes on Jian-Jin-Ji in the next five years.
19 Konza Technology City Will Be Africa's Most Advanced Metropolis
In the current age, Africa isn't really associated with futuristic, growing cities, but Kenya is one notable exception. The city of Nairobi is considered one of the richest, most advanced cities on the continent, but the Kenyan government is not satisfied with just one success story. They want to build what they call "Konza Technology City," an area which will exist outside of Nairobi. The aim of Konza City is to create a futuristic, advanced metropolis that will bring jobs to what they call "The African Silicon Savannah."
18 Los Angeles Is Quickly Becoming A Futuristic City
Los Angeles has long been one of the richest, most advanced cities in America, and that trend is definitely continuing. The city is going to add a few "smart city" features in the coming years, such as sensors that can collect data on air quality, traffic, and even contribute to smart energy. Street lights have been updated to include advanced diodes, which make the city even brighter at night. And new projects are constantly being built, such as the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, created by George Lucas and pictured above.
17 Eindhoven Will Feature 3D-Printed Concrete Houses
One of the biggest challenges cities face is housing. With cities growing, the problem is how to make sure all of these people have a place to live, but it's also imperative that these people have an affordable place to live. Too often we see middle class individuals pushed out of their cities because the housing prices start to go into the millions. Eindhoven has created an innovative way to deal with this issue, and they boast the first ever 3D-printed concrete houses. These houses are cheap, advanced, and we might just start to see them pop up all over the globe in the coming years.
16 The Historical And Holy Site Of Mecca Will Be Completely Modernized
The holy site of Mecca is quickly becoming one of the fastest-changing cities in the world. Saudi Arabia has committed to updating the city, completely modernizing it for a number of reasons. One of the most important reasons is safety. Millions of pilgrims visit the city each year, and the city's outdated structure cannot handle that many people. There have been accidents in the past, which probably could have been avoided with better urban planning. The second reason for these changes has to do with housing all of these people. The end result will be a completely different city, complete with massive, skyscraper hotels, and glass temporary housing for those on a budget. These changes are somewhat divisive.
15 Nairobi Is Quickly Becoming Modern And Rich
We've already mentioned the fact that Nairobi is one of the richest and most advanced cities on the African continent, but it really deserves its own entry. Nairobi has in the past been voted the most innovative city in the Middle East, and for good reason. The city is considered the center of technology in Africa, and it's quickly becoming its own version of Silicon Valley. This growth is not slowing down, so expect Nairobi to continue changing over the next five years.
14 Dubai Is Undergoing Massive Change To Prepare For The World Expo
We all know that Dubai is currently one of the most advanced countries in the entire world, boasting an incredible skyline with the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa. But over the next few years, Dubai will add even more wonder and splendor to its metropolis – all in preparation for the World Expo 2020. This huge event is now about 2 years away, and the plans for it are massive. Awe-inspiring pavilions, new types of architecture, and other incredible attractions will be waiting for us at the World Expo 2020, and it will all be done in stunning Dubai style.
13 New York City Has Tons Of New Advanced Construction Projects
In the past, New York has been considered the biggest, most advanced city in the world. Although the Big Apple has been overtaken in many ways over the last few years, the city seems determined to retain their status as the center of the free world, and they plan to do so with a stunning number of impressive mega projects. In a few years, New York's skyline will be completely modernized and updated, to the point where it'll almost be unrecognizable. New parks, universities and sustainable structures will thrive in the city's lower region, while a number of new super tall, skinny skyscrapers will reach into the sky.
12 Hyderabad Is One Of The Fastest-Growing Cities In India
If we're going to talk about advanced, growing cities, it's imperative that we mention India. This nation is one of the most heavily populated, growing countries in the world, but it's also a nation that is becoming more and more advanced each year. This is thanks to its rapid development of cities like Hyderabad, which is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Advancements in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals have earned this city the moniker of "Genome Valley," and it's made Hyderabad very rich.
11 Shanghai Is Becoming More And More Futuristic Every Day
It's no coincidence that Shanghai is frequently named as one of the most advanced cities in the world. They hosted the World Expo in 2010, and ever since then the technological prowess of this city has been something that truly puts the metropolis on the map. Even though Shanghai is a futuristic place, they're not satisfied with resting on their laurels, and the city is definitely not stagnating. Exciting new developments are taking place, including a massive new technological district and towering, hydroponic vertical farms.
10 "Detroit 2.0" Will Be Completely Different
In the past, Detroit hasn't exactly had the best of reputations as far as US cities go. The declining auto industry and other factors have contributed to its state. But that's all set to change in the coming years, thanks to a new concept called "Detroit 2.o." The project promises to make Detroit a futuristic and wonderful place to live, and 5.4 billion dollars has already been set aside for ambitious new construction projects in this city. It's not quite clear what Detroit will look like in the future, but it definitely won't look the same.
9 Saudia Arabia Wants To Build A Futuristic Megacity Called Neom
If you thought $5 billion in investment is a lot of money, wait until you hear about Neom. This is an all-new, futuristic city planned by Saudi Arabia, and it will cost a whopping $500 billion. The plan for this advanced city is to link Saudi Arabia with Jordan and Egypt, and it hopes to attract commercial activity throughout the Middle East. It might be the first city to truly embrace the digital age, so the possibilities are endless. Because the city is being designed from scratch, we might see innovations and concepts that haven't been seen in any other city before in history. This is supposed to be a "post-oil" city.
8 Suzhou Is The Fastest-Growing City In The World
Suzhou is not only one of the most interesting cities in the world, but it's also the fastest growing in the world. There is massive economic growth here, but city planners have managed to channel that growth into sustainable developments that don't destroy the area's prestigious past. Indeed, all of Suzhou's history and heritage will remain intact, even while massive mega-projects and skyscrapers are erected. The city is home to some of the most amazing skyscrapers in the world, such as the Gate To The East, pictured above. And with the sheer amount of growth, we should see much more of these projects.
7 Cairo Is Quickly Becoming A Completely New, Futuristic Capital
Another city set to experience a massive transformation is Cairo, Egypt. The capital of Egypt is going to become much more advanced in the coming years, and once again China is playing a part – with the development largely being financed by Far Eastern investment. The main focus is without a doubt housing, and new buildings promise to house 5 million people. But there are also many other new features, such as mosques, conference centers, medical centers, schools, and parks. Keep your eye on Cairo in the future.
6 Europa City Will Overtake Paris In The Future
Back in 2016, France started to create their own futuristic, "smart city," and they dubbed it Europa City. Construction has begun near Paris, and this city is planned to house growing populations and new immigrants coming into France. The main aim is to reduce congestion to downtown Paris, and Europa City will be connected to Paris with updated transit systems and more. The city will feature things such as an artificial ski slope, massive plazas, golf systems, and walkways. We can see from the promotional images that Europa City will be a very green place to live.
5 Malaysia's "Forest City"
By far, one of the most interesting new cities planned is Malaysia's "Forest City." $100 billion worth of funding has gone into creating this massive metropolis, which is intended to rival Singapore. This is an "eco city" in the true sense of the word, and the plans are incredibly ambitious. Buildings will be covered in plants, and there will be no cars. But the most interesting part about Forest City is that its land is completely artificial, being built on four manmade islands that were once part of the sea.
4 Akita Is A Sign Of Japan's Changing Populations
Sometimes, what truly changes a city is not the buildings, transit systems or new roads – it's the people. That is becoming increasingly evident in Japan, where the population is changing very rapidly and noticeably. To be more exact, the population is aging. While it's only natural for people to age, what makes Japan unique is that older people are starting to outnumber the young people significantly. This is true more than ever in Akita, where people are on average older than anywhere else in Japan. In Akita, some schools only have 27 children, and you're more likely to see old men having baseball practice than children.
3 Qatar Is Changing Rapidly And Becoming More Self-Reliant
Qatar is another example of a Middle Eastern metropolis that has become incredibly futuristic and advanced over the past few years, but new developments are pushing the nation to change even more. The name of the game in the next few years is self-sufficiency. This means renewable energy, local farming, and even local fish farming. The five-year plan has already gone into effect, with thousands of cows being flown in in preparation for farming. Other aspects of the five-year plan aim to improve the lives of Qataris by encouraging things like sports.
2 Panasonic Is Building A Smart City In Colorado
The United States is also starting to build their own, completely new "smart cities," and one example exists in Colorado, of all places. The planned city, which will exist just outside of Denver, will feature free WiFi, high tech highways, and even autonomous highways. The project is called "CityNow," and it's being funded almost entirely by Panasonic. Renewable, sustainable clean energy is also a planned feature, and a solar powered micro-grid will be at the forefront.
1 Sea Levels Rising Might Completely Change Major Cities
Lastly, let's mention something that will transform many of the world's major cities, and this factor is not under human control. Nature might just completely change some of the biggest cities on the planet, with some potentially being lost completely. Water levels are predicted to rise in the next 100 years, and even a 40cm increase could change cities like Vancouver or London completely. How we choose to deal with this could drastically alter the appearance of our cities.
References: dezeen.com, theguardian.com, arabianbusiness.com, govloop.com, newindianexpress.com, futurism.com, detroitnews.com, businessinsider.com, telegraph.co.uk, forbes.com, reuters.com, aljazeera.com, uk.businessinsider.com, motherboard.vice.com