Cities used to grow by accident. High tech materials, sensor networks, new science, and better data are all letting architects, designers, and planners work smarter and more precisely. Cities are getting more environmentally sound, more fun, and more beautiful. Here We Have Compiled a List of 8 Cities showing you the future.
8. Los Angeles City. An Airport in the Airport for Celebs and Other Elite Fliers
LAX is getting an upgrade, spending more than $8 billion overhaul of everything from concession areas to moving walkways. The revamp includes Delta One, a sort of airport within the airport that caters to celebrities and the wealthy.
7. Shanghai. An Evolving Museum Spirals Between Past and Present
Shanghai has exploded skyward in recent years. Then there’s the new Shanghai Natural History Museum. Set in a park near the Pudong financial district, the building spirals down, into the earth, like an excavation of the city’s pre-urban roots. It’s a thoroughly modern museum that embraces Shanghai’s exuberant futurism while reminding its inhabitants of where we all came from.
6. Medellin. New Cable Cars Unify a Fractured City
Medellin is nestled in a valley high in the Andes, and many of the city’s poorest residents live in comunas they built on the steep slopes. Luis Pérez the current Mayor proposed a novel solution: cable cars. Rather than having to pick their way down perilous hillsides, people could hop in a gondola and soar to a metro station.
5. Eindhoven. The Hovenring Lets Cyclists Pedal Over the Traffic Jam
Eindhoven was a sleepy provincial town when a family named Philips began making lightbulbs there in 1891. Today it’s a vibrant technology and research hub, where many workers commute in from sprawling suburbs.
The Hovenring is a joy for thousands of commuters who now pedal into and out of Eindhoven every day.
4. Mecca. How Saudi Arabia Tried to Prepare for 3 Million Pilgrims
When Muslims visit Mecca for one of the religion’s most sacred rites: the hajj. Most cities aren’t built with that kind of surge capacity. So the Saudis have, over the years, turned to a series of the world’s best architects and designers to try to keep millions of pilgrims safe, healthy, awed, and comfortable—while honoring the tenets of Islam.
Disappear 600 Tons of Trash a Day with Pneumatic Tubes
The 600 tons of trash a day will disappear into 400 openings and get sucked at 40 mph through an underground network of pneumatic tubes to a station more than a mile away, where trucks will take it to a landfill.
3. Nairobi. Taming a Chaotic Minibus Network With an Orderly Map
Most people get around Nairobi in minibuses. The vehicles—called matatus, and became the first informal transit system on Google Maps. Ultimately the goal is to strengthen the matatu system even further.
2. San Francisco. Coworking Spaces Deliver Much More Than a Desk and a Phone
People are working out of garages, cafés, the park. But for many startups and remote teams, it’s still important to have a space to call their own. Enter WeWork, the company operates 44 coworking spots around the world, and these are fully-serviced environments, with well-designed communal areas, bright private rooms, and (of course) bottomless coffee.
1. Dubai. Dubai’s Turbine Interchange: Where Design and Velocity Intersect
Emirates Road used to be a nightmare. In 2006, city officials decided to restructure parts of the highway, starting with the dreaded roundabout. Unlike stacked interchanges, which can involve four, five, or even six tiers of elevated highways, turbines require fewer levels, so the overall materials cost is much lower. The turbine is nearly a third of a mile wide, with 11 bridges extending a total of 1.5 miles, and in a nation that seems to pride itself on ornate displays of wealth, the simplicity isn’t so hard on the eyes.
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