Last week, in one of the most gripping conversations that I have ever had (which I can not tell you the details about), one of my friends threw a tough (or so he thought), question at me. He asked me- if the brain washing…err…watching technology, showed in the flick IronMan3 can actually come true one day?
And my reply was; if we (humans) can think of it, then it sure is doable! Albeit, it might take sometime, but what the hell, strange innovations have happened in the past, isn’t it?
If the predictions of UBM Future Cities are to be believed, then by 2050, 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities, putting increasing pressure on the infrastructure that makes them work. Needless to say, because of the environmental changes and the growing need to keep the bases of infrastructure(s) strong, there would be a hell lot of evolvement for the immigrants of the planet earth in the coming years!
That brings me to the topic of this article- what to expect from the cities of the future? Well, I say- expect a lot! But no, our thoughts are not limited to only robot driven flying cars, cleaner streets and sky kissing building, where everything is nothing, but short.
There definitely would be more that would come and although we can not cover all the bases in this single article, we thought of bringing to you few of the best ones that would make a great impact in making our environment cleaner and more sustainable…
Green to be a hit
Yes, there is chaos right now with global warming taking a toll on all of us, but we do have a hope that humans will learn and work towards finding solutions. And that does make us believe that if the cities from the past were shaped by people, make no mistake about it, the cities of the future will be shaped by ideas!
Sustainability experts predict carbon-neutral cities full of electric vehicles and bike- sharing schemes, with air quality that would not make you cough in disgust and irritation when you plan to open your windows for the first time in the office.
Visions of a green city often include skyscrapers, where living and office space vie with floating greenhouses or high-rise vegetable patches and green roofs. Sounds like, combining urbanisation while returning to our pastoral past? Sure does!
Sounds like a crime, isn’t it? But, it actually is good hacking!
Terreform ONE, a green design company based in Brooklyn, explores biohacks for the ecological issues that face modern cities. Via this, growing thousands of homes and building a new suburb could involve twisting, pruning and manipulating large trees into the frames of buildings. The idea is to keep no difference between home and nature, which could prove to be a very positive addition to the ecology, as there would be less of waste and no actual need to cut the trees to create space for constructing new buildings and houses.
You might also see, layers of giant mushrooms used to build a chair, and then covered in a skin of conventional material like leather.
Crowded roads, jam-packed parking lots, ever-increasing rising fuel prices, oh and not to mention the dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. This is we- today! But, even this seems to be not enough to persuade the car lovers to take up on public transport. But a folding electric vehicle (EV), hopes to change all that and convince commuters to leave their car keys at home.
Micro-EVs, as these vehicles are known, could enable cities to solve a long-standing mass-transit problem in the future. Urban planners call this the “first and last mile” conundrum.
By deploying fleets of lightweight, folding electric cars at strategically distributed electrical charging/renting stations throughout a city and its suburbs, these vehicles could help ease traffic congestion, parking problems, and might even keep the urban air cleaner.
Wireless highway chargers
Ok, so you plan on not hiring an EV daily and wish to buy one, but the only fear is- what if you go on a long trip and your battery runs out of charge? We bet the first thought that would hit you would be- petrol was much better!
Using a technique called “magnetic resonance coupling”, scientists are working on developing a way to wirelessly charge electric cars from magnetic coils that would be embedded into the road. That means, when you take your electric car out for a long spin and it beeps after sometime just like your mobile does when the battery runs low, the car would pick up the power via another coil,– in theory– you would never have to make a charging stop again. Cool isn’t it?
The answer may lie with big data and the so-called internet of things, where objects previously dumb are made smart by being connected to each other.
A network of sensors will, the argument goes, provide a host of data about how a city is performing. This will allow systems to be joined up and ultimately work more efficiently.
As told earlier, it is impossible to cover all twhat future might hold in one article, but whatever little has been put here, surely lights a ray of hope, doesn’t it?
– Sandeep Verma