The city of the future: sustainable urban developmentThe city of the future, like the Woven City in Japan, must be built around respect for nature, in keeping with the principles of sustainable development
Cities have become the centre of social and economic development in the world, and for which it is essential to think about their growth in terms of sustainable development. More than half of the population currently lives in cities and UN data indicates that this figure will continue to rise, reaching 66 % by 2050. What should the city of the future be like in order to bring us closer to the coveted sustainability?
In an increasingly urban world, it is in our cities where we need to implement solutions to some of the major problems faced by human beings, including climate change, shortages of resources such as water and biodiversity loss. Fortunately, sustainable development can help us design cities that look after our planet.
What does the city of the future look like?
There has been talk of things like 'smart cities' and 'biodiverse cities' — and sustainable development is the common thread that unifies these ideas. These are cities that, while fulfilling a recreational, social and economic role, are also in the interest of the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants.
They are places where there are thousands, sometimes even millions, of people sharing spaces, interacting and living in close proximity. But they are also places where, in among the tarmac and the concrete, nature remains present. In this sense, sustainable urban development must strive to achieve harmony with nature, with careful consideration of biodiversity and respecting spaces such as urban rivers, which can indicate the health of a city.
Therefore, the city of the future must make life easier for its residents and promote change in how urban spaces are organised and managed. See the following infographic for several ideas we've come up with:
Urban development in harmony with sustainable development
There are projects to build the cities of the future that are already under way. In Japan, at the foot of the majestic Mount Fuji, will rise
This project was born to enable residents and researchers to test, in a small controlled environment, how combining care of the environment and technology related to autonomy, artificial intelligence and robotics would work.
The Japanese city of the future will be built with connection between people, spaces and mobility in mind, all centred around one key idea: sustainability. The features envisaged for the city include self-driving, emission-free vehicles that allow residents to move freely around the city. The parks in each neighbourhood, as well as the main park and central square will be places designed with enjoyment and interaction between citizens in mind. Renewable energies and green hydrogen will also play a vital role in powering Woven City.
And to answer the question on everyone's mind—who are the lucky ones that get to live in this city of the future? It will be Toyota employees and their families, retired couples, traders, visiting scientists and industry representatives. In principle, 2,000 people will populate the streets of Woven City, a number that is set to increase as the project evolves.