What will cities look like in 2040? To my 8-year-old self’s disappointment, they probably won’t be filled with flying cars and replicants and jackets that dry themselves after you’ve fallen off your hoverboard into a fountain. What they will have to deal with is dramatic population increases and fuel shortages. Forum for the Future, a non-profit focused on promoting sustainability, recently produced four videos that give us a glimpse of our possible futures:
Which model of transportation is best? Well, not “Sprawl-ville,” which is obviously the Mad Max, this-is-what-might-happen-if-we-don’t-change vision of the future. No matter what mix of urban planning, alternative fuels and self-driving technology we end up with, the point is that fossil fuels are not long for this world and cities are going to have to deal with drastically increased populations. The good news? A lot of these technologies are basically here–there is no reason we can’t further develop the driverless cars, high-speed rail and alternative energy sources that we already have to fit the mega-cities that will exist 29 years from now. The question is whether we’ll make the jump early so we’re prepared or whether world events will painfully force the issue upon us.