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The City of 2050

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That is very interesting. I hear that a lot of people in Asia and Africa are leaving the countryside to make more money in the cities. The "urban exodus" of North America was more of a transient event brought on by the World Wars and really reached its peak in the 1950s-1960s. I also read that there is a15% increase in wealth generated (GDP, patents, and other such stuff per capita) and a 15% decrease in utilities and waste per capita for every doubling of the size of the cities. Comparing Tokyo to Seattle, you see that they make much more with much less than us.

 

Also, if the urban landscape does not improve for the better, cities will be more like Beijing, LA, and Mumbai than Kyoto, NYC, and Manilla. These proposals from the BBC would certainly improve livability/quality of life as well as improving sustainability.

 

--Ocram

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There are distinct advantages with new technology. Sustainability being one of them. But most of this proposed technology is designed to replace manual labour. Unemployment is already a major problem in many countries, and this would only reduce available jobs. Many skilled labourers would therefore be made redundant, as companies wouldn't need them.

I do think it'll be a very slow transition, even though technology is rapidly developing. 100 years maybe, but 40 does seem like an underestimate. One country (city) that might be a leader is Singapore. According to this article, Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaires (1 in 6). It does have a very rich economy, and being a city state, it'd support vast advances in technology. The URA is one of the associations that deals with urban planning over there.

 

Our everyday lives are already becoming more dependent on technology. A decade ago nobody even owned a smartphone. Further back, PCs were not an item in most households and businesses. Now this does come with a cost -- failure. Any computer system is prone to failure, and in a way, it's like putting all your eggs in one basket. With cities being connected to a smart network, what if there were power outages, or a mass fault? Emergency services will have additional measures. But daily life would grind to a halt, with communication being virtually impossible. It could also be an easy target for hackers (such as cyber crime), or even terrorists.

 

There's also doubt with the quality of life. Some people do try and avoid living in the city. Though it may be harder to live in rural areas, without being close to the "essential" services. After a while, living in a semi-automated world may feel overpowering and quite depressing. Verbal communication will be much less used, as we'd be interacting more with robots. Sooner or later we'll be turned into machines.

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All I can think is, "Imagine how hilarious this article is going to be to read in 2050." :lol:

 

I have a book I bought in 2000 called The Kingfisher Encyclopedia or the Future which made a lot of predictions about future technological developments. I didn't expect it at the time but it's already starting to become amusing to read, so I'm definitely holding onto it! The dates of several of their projections have already passed without them coming to be (of course). But interestingly, there was one thing they nailed: they predicted the invention of the smartphone 8 years before it existed... and they got the year right!

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I think that the economy will have to change drastically once the appropriate inventions have been made. Money as we know it and the economic systems dependent on it (Capitalism and its Mercantilism) have two basic requirements: scarcity and growth. Eventually (sooner than later) growth is going to stagnate (population will reach carrying capacity of the earth) and scarcity is already going down. Once enough of the right kind of inventions and technologies are implemented, we will no longer have either. In which case, Capitalism cannot continue to exist.

 

Unskilled labor is already mostly replaced with robots, except for in shops and certain city services. Skilled labor is partially replaced with robots, computers, and 3D printers but someone needs to make the designs. Managers can continue to exist though eventually computers will further and further dictate their decisions.

 

So, if the future of 2050 is not horrible (disease, war, or pollution not wiping off a good portion of the earth), then the economy will be vastly different. The singularity won't happen before 2070 so people will not have their intelligences melded with computers yet. So either there will be a TON of poor (unemployed) people and a few ultra-wealthy people or most everyone will live in comfort, working either for something to do (out of boredom) or for the betterment of mankind.

 

--Ocram

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Well now I have never lived in the city proper. I have lived a few blocks from the centre of a town (officially a city but it had about three buildings higher than ten storeys) and have lived in suburban areas. At present I live in a former council estate on the edge of a 'village' (more like a small town but with few shops). If I want to access the countryside I have only to get on my cycle and go a mile north and I'm in the South Downs National Park. Today I cycled to Whitehawk Hill east of Brighton and back which took six hours. Brighton is a proper city. I uploaded some pictures in the photos thread.

 

I agree with most of these predictions. The time frame is always a difficult area. If a major conflict arises in the near future it could prolong progress, although alternatively it could fuel it as well. I have only been to Singapore airport Changi on a break in mid flight, but from the window I could see the city and I'd agree it would seem a likely place for this sort of experimentation.

 

Google Glasses do seem the future. Further integration of real and virtual seems likely. Augmented reality is a definite fixture of future life. The question is, will we ever create something as real as reality?

 

As to unskilled labour it still exists. I volunteer at a plant nursery where I collect chicken eggs, water plants by hand and weed. Believe me there is work to do, but employers don't have the money to hire workers. Robots may one day weed our gardens for us, but at present there's still plenty to keep unskilled men at work if they can find an employee wealthy enough to employ them.

 

Unemployment would cease to be a financial problem once quality of living could be sustained without having to do manual labour. Once most things are done by machines 'work' will cease to exist and instead our lives are likely to become highly recreative and dull. Get ready for day long television watching binges and mass wrist cutting epidemics lol. Unless that is they finally make a proper Simcity 5...

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I don't think we would be that advanced in 37 years. My parents told me that they thought we would have widespread flying car usage, but that hasn't really worked out. I think the city of the future would feature much of the architecture of the cities of today, but with a more advanced transportation system and more areas to connect with apps and the internet.

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For those who have read the novels "The Caves of Steel" and "The Naked Sun" by Isaac Asimov, you get a pretty good pair of predictions of the way things could go.  Concentration in cities is happening now.  Many, like myself, have fled the ant heaps, and are living in the country with little close association to neighbouring cities.  The Auroran example is the extreme end of this.

 

Unless something is done about the crumbling infrastructure of most places, the cities are going to die of sewage outflow and lack of clean water.

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I have read Caves of Steel, i,ROBOT, parts of Naked Sun, most of the Foundation series (except for the last half of Forward the Foundation) and many other science fiction novels by other authors.  Futurology rarely makes accurate predictions though most make some correct predictions (for instance, The Machine Stops predicted the Internet and eMail a century before its time).

 

Also, my mother moved out to the suburbs. Her house is large and luxurious (though rather plain and drab without the furniture and her self-made paintings), has a great view of the Sound, and is comfortable. I don't like living out in the middle-of-nowhere where automobiles are practically a necessity (except for an unreliable shuttle-bus a couple blocks uphill) when I cannot drive, there are few good places for entertainment, and no neighbors to hang out with (while we used to live in a low density middle-wealth residential neighborhood in Seattle within walking distance to a shopping village and a short bus ride (or short car drive) to Downtown). Really, if I was an urban planner, I would "rezone" all suburbs into parks, agriculture, or wildlife preserves with perhaps some hotels or retirement communities) except when they have the capacity, demand, and desirability to densify into edge-cities, boomburgs, or full-fledged downtown cities (such as Bellevue). As much as I think NYC is an undesirable place to live (sanitation and weather mostly), if I had the money, I would rather live there than in a bedroom community of Seattle-Tacoma.

 

So yes, I would rather live on Trantor than Aurora.

 

 

--Ocram

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My professor said that most people will move to cities making arrival cities (shanty towns) around formal cities (the cities that are legitimate by most governments' standards). In other words most of the people of any developing nation such as India, Venezuela, Kenya etc. will be living in shanty cities for a long time until people are able to obtain enough money to have buildings instead of shanties. Plus the human population should level out at about 10,000,000,000 by 2050. In other words, the average city will not be as advanced as that for a 100 or so years. If you also account for rising ocean levels, the oceans would have swallowed any city along the coast, thus more shanty towns across the globe.

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Do you suppose that I, now retired from the rat race and having lived in several people heaps at various times, have now simply become tired of the urban struggle?  I've lived in ever more rural areas since 1990.

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My professor said that most people will move to cities making arrival cities (shanty towns) around formal cities (the cities that are legitimate by most governments' standards). In other words most of the people of any developing nation such as India, Venezuela, Kenya etc. will be living in shanty cities for a long time until people are able to obtain enough money to have buildings instead of shanties. Plus the human population should level out at about 10,000,000,000 by 2050. In other words, the average city will not be as advanced as that for a 100 or so years. If you also account for rising ocean levels, the oceans would have swallowed any city along the coast, thus more shanty towns across the globe.

 

Thing is, most of those people aren't being born in developed nations. Expect to see a lot more sub-Saharan Africans in the coming decades. 

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