Cities of the Future – Transforming the Built Environment

Cities of the Future – Transforming the Built Environment

28th November 2018

Most of us over the age of 30 will have seen some quite radical changes in our lifetime – changes in the ways in which we work, live, travel and play.  This has come about as a result of rapid technological development that has seen us go from a traditional society to a connected one.  We’re all connected nowadays via the internet, something some of us older folk believed was a dream in the realms of science fiction.  Now, we don’t leave the house without some means of staying connected to the rest of the world, whether by smart phone, tablet or laptop. 

We’ve published plenty of articles on how this digital technology we all depend on so much has begun to transform the ways in which we work.  This has been the case in just about every sector, including the construction industry (though we were a little slow off the mark in adopting digital technology to begin with).  With construction now making the most of new developments in technology, we’re likely to see a future much different than how life is today, especially in our cities.

It’s predicted that more than two thirds of the population here in the UK will be city dwellers, living in urban areas by 2050 and this will increase the demands on our cities’ services in a significant manner.  New technology will improve our infrastructure, changing the ways in which we interact with each other and our environment.  The Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will transform the built environment of our cities into smart cities, and we may even see cities thinking in much the same way as the human brain does! 

When it comes to commuting, our transportation is likely to be revolutionised to make it fit for the future.  We’re already seeing the first signs of this – Uber rapidly rose to prominence as a great way of getting around and Tesla has already given us a taste of greener alternatives when it comes to driving, promoting the self-driving vehicle as the best way to drive.  In the future, we’re likely to see parking problems become a thing of the past – your vehicle will be able to find its own optimised parking space after it’s dropped you off at work, meaning no more excuses for being late due to lack of parking.

We’re also likely to experience public transport becoming the travel of choice as there is great potential for innovation in this field.  AI and linked technologies will enable us to create networks of multi-user, driverless cars of pods to take the place of today’s buses with their fixed routes and timetables.  We’re imagining how cool it would be to book a pod/car by phone (or other connected device) which will pick us up at our starting point.  Other passengers will join along the route to be dropped at their destinations along the way, or after we’ve disembarked.  This sounds to us like public transport style driverless taxi services.

This should result in a reduction in car ownership and a move to renewable energy which will result in cleaner air and leave space in our cities for more green spaces to be created, making our cities healthier and much more enjoyable. 

Whatever transformations and changes come about in the next couple of decades, one thing is for sure, our grandchildren and their children will be living in a world very different than the world we grew up in.