What will be the first “city of the future”?

Multiple efforts are underway around the globe to construct new kinds of cities. Here is an overview of some of this work:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Telosa is set to be built on 150,000 acres in either Nevada, Utah or Arizona, and 50,000 “diverse” people will call it home by 2030, according to newly released details from Lore — a serial entrepreneur who sold Jet.com to Walmart for $3.3 billion and the parent company of Diapers.com to Amazon for $545 million.

“We’re not just building a new city — this is a new model for society,” Lore said at a Telosa “town hall meeting” in July, adding that he wants his new city to be “sustainable and equitable to all.”

It’ll be governed by a principle he calls “equitism,” which seems to be a mashup of democracy, capitalism and socialism…

Floating City in the Maldives is envisioned as a large cluster of hexagonal structures that rise and fall with the sea, with room for up to 20,000 people. It’s set to be completed in 2027

Toyota Woven City is a company town being built in the foothills of Japan’s Mount Fuji. The proposal calls for a 2,000-person city where Toyota “will test autonomous vehicles, smart technology and robot-assisted living,” per CNN.

Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is a “master-planned eco-complex designed to show off the UAE’s commitment to sustainability,” Bloomberg has reported.

Net City in Shenzhen, China, is another company town being built by tech giant Tencent. It’ll be a Monaco-size metropolis for 80,000 workers, CNN reports.

Several other projects are briefly mentioned in the article. Across all of these proposed communities, there are several patterns:

  1. Created by the ultra-wealthy or corporations.
  2. Incorporating sustainability or new technology.
  3. A limited population.

It strikes me that we now have a good sense of what megacities are around the world: they have a certain population and share common traits regarding land use, economics, and social life. Such cities are relatively new in human history but now they are common. So then what exactly needs to be different for a new community to be a futuristic city? A different aesthetic? No cars or limited cars? Much greener? Smaller in scale? Different social arrangements?

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