The Future of Cities Project

The Future of Cities Project educates leaders on some of the long-term threats, and long-term opportunities, facing the cities of tomorrow. The Project highlights some of the best insights and ideas related to the longer-term scenarios for urban communities and makes those insights more broadly available via our leadership network and the reach of leaders participating in Meeting of the Minds. This blog series seeks to explore the following key questions: What is the longer-term future of our cities, over the 20-40 year time horizon? What are the potentially intractable and perplexing challenges cities will face in the longer-term future? How should we think about both potential city problems, and the potential city solutions, in the longer-term future?

Cities’ Climate Innovations Are Driving the Next Urban Transformation

Earlier in 2019, Vancouver’s city council declared a climate emergency and adopted a new set of climate-action targets that pushed its already aggressive goals to a new level. In response to the urgent need to hold global warming to below 1.5°C, the city set a new goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.

The To-Do List for Cities 20 Years From Now

As Meeting of the Minds well knows, the integration of technology in all aspects of city life will manifest in many ways over the next two decades. Artificial intelligence, crowdsourcing, and data collection and analysis have gotten the most attention, but many of the most striking changes are set to occur in the physical realm – the layout of streets and sidewalks. Planners are hard at work right now trying to anticipate what’s going to be needed to accommodate delivery drones, trackless trams, and of course driverless cars and trucks, which will present their own congestion problems potentially, but also will free up all kinds of urban land no longer needed for traffic flow or parking. The transformation of the urban landscape will be more complicated than the transition from horses to cars, but no less doable.