Smart Cities of the Future

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Since the times of Ebenezer Howard, there has been talk of creating “green cities”.

If in 1989 this was merely a utopian vision of architecture and urban planning, today things and technologies have changed, and it is the right time to think concretely about developing urban centers that are sustainable and ecologically friendly.

Today, over 50% of the world population lives in cities. According to the United Nations, in 2050 global urbanization will see a growth of around 2.5 billion people. This will likely bring an increase in the surface area cities occupy, and a decrease in population density.

Precisely for this reason, various projects for smart cities are taking form, among which are the following:

  • Belmont, the intelligent city imagined by Bill Gates together with Belmont Partners, that will be built close to Phoenix, Arizona. Employing cutting-edge technology, the city will be constructed from scratch, over an area of 24,800 acres (currently desert), and it is expected to have 80,000 residences, 3,800 acres of industrial, office, and commercial areas, and 470 acres for public schools.
  • Dubai 2021 will be like a city straight out of science- fiction movie, with 25% of the buildings built using 3D printers, and 25% of the public transportation being automated and without an operator. Hundreds of electricity stations will be installed around the city, to offer free wi-fi, logistical information, and outlets to charge cell phones, all of which are powered by solar energy.
  • Liuzhou Forest City, the first of its kind, designed by the studio of Stefan Boeri Architetti. The Liuzhou Forest City is not only ecological, but energetically autonomous. The Urban Settlement will be compete with houses, offices, areas for social encounters, hotels, schools, and a hospital. Regarding mobility, the city will be serviced by various forms of transportation (including trains) powered exclusively by electricity.

This year, at the 31st edition of Mipim, we will be talking about these cities and others moving in the same direction. What role will cities play as promoters of a sustainable, economical, and socially inclusive growth? The theme “the future is human” highlights the importance of the role citizens play in working towards a common goal: the actualization of sustainable goals and moving towards a truly green future.

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