The Idea of futuristic smart cities has been much talked about since ages now. In 1964, the British architect Ron Herron came up with his concept for a so-called “Walking City”—cities carried on the back of enormous, artificially intelligent mobile platforms resembling giant skyscrapers. There have been several movies conceptualising a futuristic city in different ways. “Her”, “Blade Runner”, “Ultraviolet”, “The Fifth Element”, “Minority Report” are few of the many futuristic Sci-Fi movies having different conceptions about the cities of our future. One thing in common though in all is the use of Artificial Intelligence. Also, Skyscrapers of various shapes have been fabricated in many (if not all) Sci-Fi movies. These concepts have also been growing with the passing time.
As we become more and more technologically capable and environmentally concerned, futuristic smart cities kept modifying. With the advancements of technologies and scientific intelligence of 2020, it is finally possible to build all these concepts to life.
Here are the 5 Futuristic smart city concepts to keep an eye on to become reality.
Woven City, Japan
Toyota, the Japanese automaker made an announcement at the CES 2020 to build its own home country. Toyota is going to build its so-called Woven City starting from 2021 according to the company’s CEO Akio Toyoda. The Woven City is going to be no less than a futuristic smart city.
Spanning over 175 acres at the base of Mount Fuji there is going to be a “living laboratory”. The world can only expect the very latest autonomous cars and other automotive breakthroughs along with connected sensor tech related to smart homes, robots, and A.I.
Woven City is proposed to house around 2,000 residents initially. The residents will get their own in-house robot for monitoring health and taking care of certain basic tasks. This project has been tasked to be designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (BIG), whose résumé includes 2 World Trade Center and Denmark’s Lego House.
Another proposed smart city is by none other than the co-founder of Microsoft. This one is called Belmont and is conceptualised to be situated in the Phoenix metropolitan area of Arizona. The Belmont project counts the billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates as an investor to the tune of around $80 million. Belmont will be housing a population of around 193,000 residents, which is roughly the size of Salt Lake City. The site of the proposed smart city spanning over 25,000 acres is currently an unpopulated desert. The idea is to harvest a bustling community with businesses, schools, and 80,000 homes into the place.
With the names like Microsoft and Bill Gates attached to it, one can only expect the very latest in high-tech amenities being imagined from the ground up as a smart city such as driverless vehicles, autonomous delivery services, jobs in advanced manufacturing, high-speed internet etc.
There’s no announcement yet on when construction will start though.
Neom, Saudi Arabia
A complete futuristic approach with robot maids, glow-in-the-dark beaches, man-made rain, a giant artificial moon, 100% renewable energy, robot dinosaurs, and a genetic engineering program to create stronger citizens, alongside the standard smart city promises of autonomous vehicles and better internet connectivity is the idea behind “Neom”.
The Neom is proposed as a $500 billion city being developed in Saudi Arabia by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It will measure around 10,230 square miles which is around 33 times than the land area of New York City.
Forest City, Malaysia
Addressing the ecological and environmental distress, the Forest City proclaims itself to be the “Role Model of Future Cities”. The $100 billion development project is being designed as an eco-city, where buildings are covered in plants and the roads are pleasingly free from parked cars. The Forest City will be built on four artificial islands in the Straits of Johor—the thin strip of water between Malaysia and Singapore. Estimated to be completed in 2035, the Forest City promises to be a “place of wonder” with “crystal blue skies and the sounds of nature”.
This eco-friendly future city will also offer smart tech as wondrous as it gets. As per the plans proposed, there will be self-watering gardens and windows that if broken will be fixed before you notice.
Sidewalk Labs, Toronto
Another proposed smart city of the future is the Google parent company Alphabet’s urban innovation organization, Sidewalk Labs. The project will transform a neighbourhood of Toronto waterfront into a smart city. The Sidewalk Labs will boast all-wooden buildings, modular paving for easy rearrangement, focus on sustainable energy, accessible ride-sharing vehicles, heated pavements, way-finding beacons, and more.
According to the CEO Dan Doctoroff, Sidewalk Labs, “This proposal aims to do something extraordinary on Toronto’s eastern waterfront: create the neighbourhood of the future in the right kind of way, with people at its centre, and with cutting edge technology and forward-thinking urban design combining to achieve ambitious improvements in the urban environment and in the way we all live.”