Predictions for the City of the Future

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By Correy Faccini for Innovate UK 

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find & drive the science & technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.
I am happy to host a guest post on Cities of the Future for Innovate UK. Please check out the Innovate UK Future Cities video series.

By the year 2050,  over two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. So what will the cities of the future look like? Technological developments will redefine the very infrastructure of the urban landscape. The world around us will be more interactive, intelligent, efficient and sustainable. We may even reach a time when cities ‘think’ like a human brain.

Here are some of Innovate UK’s predictions for the city of the future.

A Revolution in Public and Personal Transport

We’re already seeing the future of the transport industry beginning to emerge. From Tesla’s greener automotive alternatives to Uber’s ordering system and the recent developments in autonomous vehicles.

It’s clear to see the direction transport is heading.  But what will transport in 2050 look like?

Personal transport will be self-driving, this means you can catch up on your emails or favourite TV shows while on your way to work. You won’t need to hunt around for a parking space anymore. Your vehicle will drop you at your destination and then leave to find an optimum parking space. So your experience in the vehicle will be key.

Public transport will be smart and efficient. We’re likely to see connected networks of intelligent pods instead of buses with set routes and timetables. You will be able to hail a pod from your phone, be picked up, and head towards your destination. If anyone’s heading the same way, they might join you for the journey.

A transport system as efficient as this is likely to drive ICE car ownership figures down dramatically.  This will result in better air quality, and may lead to more open green spaces and more accessible bicycle routes.

Smart and Sustainable Buildings

All types of public buildings will become intelligent and aware of their users. These structures will gather data from occupants and the surrounding area to continually improve and maintain a safe and healthy environment.

Solar windows and other developments will help buildings become sustainable and green. They’ll use smart data to ensure optimum efficiency as well as regulate temperature requirements. Any surplus energy will be offered to surrounding buildings and vehicles leading to a sustainable city infrastructure.

An Interactive Shopping Experience

The High Street will see plenty of innovations too. Augmented reality, AI and connected data will all impact the way we shop. When you enter a shop you’ll be assigned your own interactive changing room. This will allow you to easily swap between different potential options and also make small alterations to garments.

Stores will  know your clothes size as well as fashion preferences and upcoming social calendar. They will use this information to make suggestions and recommendations to help your shopping experience.

More Time for What’s Important

What about the potential loss of jobs? Many believe that instead of losing jobs,  technology will allow services to become far more personalised. This will result in new job opportunities – such as creating experiences.

Technology may also give us time to spend on the things that really matter.

How do you think our cities will develop in the future? What will our main challenges be? What experiences might we be able to have?

If you’d like to find videos exploring future trends such as these, you can subscribe to InnovateUK’s YouTube channel here.

Additionally, you can follow @InnovateUK on Twitter here.



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