The architecture and planning of the cities is a result of the people’s lifestyle, culture, belief and tradition. But in the last few years, the growth of cities and rapid urbanization is resulting in highly congested neighbourhoods and exploitation of resources. With the loss of biodiversity, cities are becoming monocultures of human-dominated spaces.
The future development of cities should address issues such as overpopulation, pollution, hunger management, inequality, etc. The cities need to sustain themselves in the coming future, else there will be a global huge crisis.
Here are some ideas that will shape the future of cities.
1. Pedestrianization | Cities of the Future
With an increase in the number of private vehicles, the atmospheric emissions by these vehicles are having adverse effects on the air quality and contributing to global climate change. Pedestrianization is the process of converting areas of a city reserved for pedestrian use only, where automobile traffic is prohibited. These areas are called pedestrian-friendly zones.
Pedestrianization schemes will help in significant drops in local noise and air pollution. These zones have a variety of approaches to human-powered vehicles such as bicycles and skateboards. However, it is not enough to provide pedestrian-friendly zones alone as it might increase vehicular parking and traffic in the neighbourhoods.
Thus, it is important to have a rapid public transportation system along with pedestrian-friendly zones. This will help the cities to become more livable and also improve the environment in the future.
2. Productive Landscapes
With the increase in urbanism and population, the city edges where most of the agricultural activities take place are burdened heavily. Food production can become an inclusive part of urban public places and induce community activity and accessibility to anyone and everyone.
Some typical examples of Urban agriculture that can be integrated into the public realm of city fabric include Backyard food growing systems, edible food parks, vertical farming, productive street corridors along the highways, railroads, metro lines; vegetables grown using the hydroponic process on roofs, stairways, public plazas, workspaces, etc. Productive will not only address the concern of food security but also concerns like pollution, consumption of natural resources, addressing hunger problems, availability of food.
Practising urban agriculture will make cities sustainable in the future. It will also help in empowering individuals through community food initiatives and make them become a part of a larger urban cause. Along with that, the people will come in close contact with nature which will result in the social wellbeing of the society and increase the ability to foster a healthier community in the future.
3. Eco-friendly Construction Materials
Did you know that the world produces 1.3 billion tons of garbage each year? However, with innovative techniques, it is now possible to convert this waste into something useful. Waste can be used as a resource in the coming future.
Some materials that have been produced using waste are:
Newspaper wood: It is produced by compressing newspaper and glue into many thin layers that create a wood grain texture. The material is waterproof and can be used in making furniture.
Recycled plastic blocks: Plastic is melted and mixed in the sand to produce building blocks. Bricks, paving blocks, etc., can be made using this.
4. Vertical City
Vertical cities are said to be the most effective solution to address most of the problems and make living sustainable. Vertical development has been significant for the last few decades. People have started to look at the vertical city concept as a solution to this. Vertical cities will be an ecosystem in itself.
Amenities such as shopping centers, gymnasium, theatre, community halls, restaurants, parks, etc., will be in the same mass as the residential and commercial spaces. However, staying indoors most of the time could harm the social and emotional well-being of a person.
But conscious solutions such as providing open areas on the outer side that provide sunlight and fresh air could be implemented. These vertical cities could be connected using bridges hence one might not need to drive from one place to another.
5. Floating City | Cities of the Future
The United Nations is exploring how floating cities can help as a response to climate change. Water covers two-thirds of the world’s landscape and thus floating cities are possible and will help in expanding the usage limits by man. Floating cities could act as an extension to host cities that have all the amenities.
The Oceanix city concept designed by BIG is an example of a floating city. The concept consists of buoyant islands clustered together in groups of six to form a 12-hectare village. It comprises hexagonal modules that can accommodate up to 10000 residents. Oceanix city will also consist of renewable energy resources, food production and farming. Structures populating the modules will be low rise four to seven-storied to keep the center of gravity.
Buildings will taper out towards the top to provide shading and also extra roof space for solar panels. Like Vertical cities, floating cities can also be an effective solution for a sustainable future.
It is necessary to find innovative solutions to global issues such as overpopulation, pollution, climate change, etc. to make our future bright and sustainable. New concepts and technologies are adding to building sustainable cities for the future. We must take into consideration all the social, environmental and political factors to develop more sustainable and liveable cities for the future.