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  • Top 10 Cities of the Future

  • 10. Masdar CityUAE

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the largest ecological footprint per capita in the entire

  • world. This is because of its massive oil production and distribution as well as its

  • huge construction projects from the last decade. In light of this fact, theyve taken upon

  • themselves to build the first ever zero carbon, zero waste city called Masdar.

  • It is entirely powered by an 88,000 solar panel farm right outside the city outskirts.

  • All taps and light switches within the city are automated and based on movement sensors

  • in order to limit consumption as much as possible. Architects have studied ancient settlements

  • in order to better understand and apply different techniques to reduce energy consumption. By

  • surrounding it with walls, raising the entire city foundation by around 23 feet, and building

  • 150 foot towers sucking air from above and blowing a cooler breeze throughout the streets,

  • engineers have lowered the average city temperature by around 20 degrees. The buildings themselves

  • are spaced closer together and designed in such a way that they allow air to flow much

  • easier, providing both shade and a comfortable climate, all the while maintaining an Arabic-style

  • architecture.

  • Cars are forbidden within the city walls, making all commuters and visitors park their

  • vehicles outside. Transportation is provided by an underground network of driverless electrical

  • vehicles which ferry people from place to place. The lack of personal cars makes the

  • need fornormalcity streets nonexistent and so, Masdar doesn’t have them. There’s

  • also a light rail system aboveground, helping people get around.

  • When finished, Masdar will be home to some 40,000 residents while also providing jobs

  • for another 50,000 commuters. The reason behind this experimental city is to be a central

  • world hub for renewable energy development. Today, the Masdar Institute of Science and

  • Technology occupies one of the first complete buildings. The German engineering company

  • Siemens has also placed its Middle Eastern headquarters there, as has IRENA (International

  • Renewable Energy Agency).

  • 9. DelhiMumbai Industrial CorridorIndia

  • India, on the other hand, is faced with an even greater challenge. It is currently home

  • to over 1.2 billion people, 350 million of whom will move into cities in the coming decade.

  • Because the country is mostly underdeveloped and the majority of its population is around

  • 27 years old, the need for stable jobs has never been higher. That’s why the Indian

  • government is embarking on the largest infrastructure project in its history, the DelhiMumbai

  • Industrial Corridor.

  • The idea behind this 920 mile (1480 km) “corridoris for India to become the cheapest manufacturer

  • of goods in the world. In order for it to do so, a set of modern rail lines will exist

  • to directly transport these goods from the assembly line to the ports and airports (which

  • are yet to be constructed). Along its route, 24 brand new smart-cities will be built, which

  • will all be superior to any other Indian city in terms of infrastructure, quality of life

  • and services offered. These cities will also be built in the most eco-friendly way as possible,

  • relying mostly on renewable energy.

  • This mega-project is funded in large part by the Japanese, whose economy is based on

  • the technology industry and who want India to be their main productionfactory.”

  • Estimated costs reach $90 billion, but as most of us know, initial calculations are

  • rarely the same as the end result.

  • 8. King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) – Saudi Arabia

  • With 24% of the entire global trade going through the Red Sea, it’s no surprise that

  • the Saudis have finished building the largest port (King Abdullah PortKAP) in the region.

  • This is only the beginning, since the entire project revolves around one of the most cohesive

  • and well-planned cities in the Arab world, the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

  • Just an hour’s drive North of Jeddah (the second largest city in Saudi Arabia), this

  • $100 billion enterprise aims to be as large as Washington DC, all the while connecting

  • the cities of Makkah and Madinah through a high-tech, high-speed rail network . The second

  • phase in the project’s development is the Industrial Valley, which houses a large petrochemical

  • plant and has successfully attracted over 60 national and international companies, some

  • of which are already operational within the KAP.

  • No city will ever be complete without access to higher education. That’s why the King

  • Abdullah University of Science and Technology began its construction back in 2009. It’s

  • one of the best funded universities in the world, with an initial $20 billion endowment

  • given by the King himself, and is only surpassed by Harvard and Yale. It is also the first

  • mixed-gender university in the country.

  • In all likelihood, this multi-billion mega-endeavor will be King Abdullah’s legacy left behind

  • for his people, housing over 2 million people and generating somewhere around one million

  • jobs when finished.

  • 7. Songdo International Business District (IBD) – South Korea

  • Some 40 miles away from Seoul, South Korean engineers are currently developing the Songdo

  • IBD on 1500 acres of reclaimed land near the Incheon International Airport. One key feature

  • is its close proximity to the airport, which is directly connected to Songdo IBD by the

  • 7 mile Incheon Bridge. This will shorten a trip from the city center directly to the

  • airport to no longer than 10 minutes.

  • The city itself will be comprised of around 40% parks and green spaces, with some of them

  • mimicking places like Central Park in NYC, the canals of Venice, and Savannah, Georgia.

  • One of the most ingenious technologies used in Songdo is its trash system, which will

  • suck the garbage directly from the bin and through a series of underground pipes straight

  • to a treatment facility. Another smart idea used in designing the city is the use of an

  • informational network which links every device, service, and component through wireless technology.

  • This allows for a more coordinated and synchronized city that has ever been possible before.

  • By the end of 2016, Songdo will be home to some 60,000 citizens and will provide jobs

  • for another 300,000 people. Out of the initial $30 billion investment, $10 billion have already

  • been spent on some 100+ buildings. Expectations are that by the project’s completion, Songdo

  • IBD will become the central business center for Northeast Asia.

  • 6. One tower, One city, Several Countries

  • When it comes to city planning, building taller is almost always better. Today’s skyscrapers,

  • like the Burj Khalifa (2716 ft.) in Dubai, make the most efficient use of space in terms

  • of people per square foot. Cities which lack the most in desirable land to expand into

  • tend to build the most skyscrapers. A typical city’s limits usually extend for miles beyond

  • its densely packed core, in the form of residential, commercial and industrial zones. These make

  • for an incredible waste of resources like fuel, energy and water, not to mention the

  • sheer amount of hours spent in traffic on a daily basis.

  • That’s why some countries around the world are already beginning their journey towards

  • achieving the incredible goal of building a first ever tower-like metropolis. Kuwait

  • and Azerbaijan both await the completion of their Mubarak al-Kabir (3285 ft.) and Azerbaijan

  • (3444 ft.) Towers, scheduled to be complete in 2016 and 2019, respectively. These, of

  • course, are not cities in their own right, but rather, a step in the right direction,

  • which incidentally is up. Next on the list is Dubai City Tower (7874 ft.), which by its

  • name alone can help us realize just how close were getting to making this dream into

  • a reality. Its estimated date of completion is in 2025.

  • The Americans had their own design back in ’91 regarding a 500 story tall tower, measuring

  • around 2 miles in height. They named it the Ultima Tower, placed it in San Francisco and

  • designed it to house over one million people. Starting plans however, were never put in

  • motion. Neither were Japan’s plans to build the Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid (6574 ft.) which

  • has the designs for one of the smartest lighting systems.

  • 5. Mexico’s own Rabbit Hole

  • Like the tower cities we talked about earlier, Mexico plans to follow a similar principle

  • but in reverse. Instead of going up towards the clouds, theyve decided to go down underground.

  • The name Earthscraper was apparently chosen in the same manner. Architects and engineers

  • are planning to build this 65 story, 82,000 square foot inverted pyramid, smack in the

  • middle of Mexico City. Therooftopfor this underground establishment will be a 787

  • x 787 foot pane of transparent glass, which will act as a public square on that the surface

  • dwellers can walk around and entertain each other with concerts, open aired exhibitions

  • or military parades.

  • On the other hand, an American designer Matthew Fromboluti has drawn his own plans for a similar

  • underground settlement, near the town of Bisbee, Arizona, called Above Below. His project is

  • based on the already existing 900 foot deep, 300 foot wide abandoned Lavender Pit Mine.

  • By utilizing a series of chimneys which allow for light and air circulation, most of the

  • original surface area can be brought back to its natural form.

  • Geothermal energy could be the main source of power in both of these cases, allowing

  • these future metropolises make the most of their surroundings and design in order to

  • become as self-sufficient as possible.

  • 4. The Arctic Russians

  • Next well take a look at Russia’s attempt to colonizing the Arctic. Figuring that it’s

  • about time they began moving into the Siberian tundra, the Russians have designed a self-contained

  • city named Umka (after a popular Soviet-era polar bear cub animation) which will hopefully

  • be up for the task in keeping its inhabitants from freezing to death.

  • Its venue will be Kotelny Island, part of the Novosibirsk Archipelago, roughly 1000

  • miles from the North Pole. This is one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, with

  • temperatures rarely going above freezing point, and some of the most powerful and cold winds

  • blowing across these islands. Umka’s design resembles that of the International Space

  • Station but on a much larger scale, being home to over 5000 citizens. Since this kind

  • of city can be built on any type of terrain, completely self-sufficient from the outside

  • world, Umka is a great experiment for Russia’s future space colonies.

  • Other, more futuristic designs include a floating settlement capable of sheltering around 800

  • people and can literallyfeedoff of melting icebergs. This Arctic Harvester was

  • thought of by some French students who envisioned their design following icebergs on their annual

  • migrations south, all the while being provided with fresh water on their way. Through a combination

  • of solar power and an osmotic system which uses a mix of fresh and salt water, the Arctic

  • Harvester will generate all the energy it will ever need.

  • 3. Taming the High Seas

  • Like the Arctic Harvester mentioned above, the Chinese have begun drawing the blueprints

  • for their own Floating City. Driven by climate change, rising sea levels, and dwindling resources,

  • China has decided it’s time to think about moving some of its people offshore. With an

  • area of about 4 square miles, this future metropolis will be comprised of hexagonal

  • modules interconnected by an underwater network of streets and pathways.

  • The Japanese company Shimizu has designed a floating city of its own and named it Floating

  • Green. As the name suggests, this buoyantecopoliswill be almost entirely covered

  • in vegetation and span over several manmade islands. A thousand meter (3208 ft.) tower

  • at the city’s center will act both as a vertical farm and housing for its inhabitants.

  • Their vision expands even further as Japan plans to build the first ever underwater city

  • called Ocean Spiral by 2030. This will be a sphere-like dwelling, able to sustain up

  • to 5000 people and drawing its energy from the sea bed.

  • We only have to wait and see which of these will be the first to get built. But no matter

  • which one it is, you can be sure that all of them are designed to be extremely self-sufficient

  • in terms of food production, energy consumption, and waste management.

  • 2. The Venus Project

  • The Venus Project is the vision of one 98-year-old Jacque Fresco who has designed the perfect

  • layout for our future cities. If we ever reach the point where we build brand new, high-tech

  • cities on a regular basis, this design will most certainly come in handy. All buildings

  • and structures are prefabricated and then shipped on site, allowing for a more coordinated

  • and far less costly construction. Standardizing basic structural elements allows for alterations

  • to be arranged to meet different requirements in terms of new technology and various structural

  • designs in the future.

  • One of its other key features is its circular shape. This will permit the most efficient