The futuristic cities of science fiction hold a strong appeal in our collective imagination. The thought that we might one day revolutionize everything about how we live – including where we live – is an exciting one. What’s even more exciting is the idea that some of the most outlandish cities from science fiction might be within our technical reach tomorrow. If you like looking forward, look at this — a collection of the most interesting, fascinating, and exciting futuristic city concepts I’ve come across on the web.
Futuristic Cities: Multiplicity by John Wardle Architects
A common factor in the evolution of cities is an increase in density. Cities grow up, in a vertical sense, as often as they grow out into new lands. From the birth of the skyscraper, this concept has changed very little, but this new idea by John Wardle Architects may be the next step forward. The Multiplicity concept envisions multiple cities built into one on varied levels, up and down. There’s a canopy at the peak, vertical buildings in between, and a city on the streets below. It brings to mind the ideas of class separation and dystopia in some, but the architect’s vision suggests balance and beauty on all levels of life.
Multiplicity by John Wardle Architects | Gallery
Futuristic Cities: Masdar City
Masdar is our second entry – and it’s significantly less conceptual (and potentially-dystopian) than Multiplicity: it’s actually under construction in the desert outside Abu Dhabi as I type this. Billing itself as the world’s first truly zero-carbon, zero-waste city, Masdar will play host to a massive public rapid transit system in place of personal vehicles, and will be fueled entirely by solar, wind, and geothermal energy. Giant sunflower-like “umbrellas” will provide movable shade during the day while they store heat, closing at night to keep that heat inside the city. Awesome concept, right?
Masdar City | Gallery
Shan-Shui City Will Flow Like Water
Envisioned by MAD Architects, the beautiful Shan-Shui City’s design is inspired by the ancient worship of mountains and water in China. The concept is designed with sustainability in mind; no matter where you are in the city, all the necessary amenities will be within walking distance, and the architecture ensures a means of securing immense population density that’s much easier on the eyes than a series of boxes. Nature features heavily into Shan-Shui’s concept, as well – access to the natural world is just as vital as access to school, work, and health care.
Shan Shui City | Gallery
The Vertical Cities Of Italy Might Never Be Built
Deep within the Calabrian countryside in Italy stretches a ruined, abandoned highway – the result of a multi-million dollar development project which was never finished. One of the defining features of this highway is a series of beautiful viaducts – all of which seem destined to waste away into ruin, forgotten by the Italian people. Unless that is, the concept envisioned by Samuel Nageotte Architectures and OFF Architecture comes to fruition. The team sees the abandoned bridges being turned into eye-popping vertical cities; incorporating a design which he refers to as an “inverted high-rise.” The concept is amazing, as are these eye-opening renderings.
Bridge Cities of Italy by Samuel Nageotte Architectures, OFF Architecture | Gallery
NeoTax Takes City Design Into The Third Dimension
Submitted as an entry to the eVolo 2011 Skyscraper competition, NeoTax takes the traditional skyscraper and expands it outwards. The concept envisions modular, three-dimensional structures which are organized simultaneously on a horizontal and vertical street grid; each module can be viewed as a separate neighborhood and buildings can easily connect to one another above ground-level. This ensures that there’ll be plenty of green space left untouched, while still allowing for a great deal of space efficiency.
HavvAda Is A City That’s Also An Island
Dreamed up by the eminent designer Dror Benshetrit, HavvAda is a man-made island situated off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey. Apparently, the whole idea came about as a result of Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, who wants to construct a canal between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Given that the immense volume of dirt and stone they’ll be moving isn’t really going to go away, the Prime Minister commissioned Benshetrit to figure out what to do with the waste. Apparently, Benshetrit decided that the best thing to do would be to build a city. Or…more precisely, a whole island which will support several cities enclosed within Geodesic domes.
HavvAda Island City – Turkey | Gallery
Futuristic Cities: Tianfu – China’s Great Car Free City
Planned in a rural area just outside Chengdu, Tianfu Great City is a new urban center which will house 80,000 people. Centered around a high-rise core, the city will be noteworthy for one simple fact: it’ll be completely walkable. No vehicles will be required anywhere in the city, which will be surrounded (and filled) with green space on all sides. Walking across the whole city will take a maximum of ten minutes, and other major urban centers will be accessible through mass transit. Because of its focus on walkability, Great City will use 48% less energy and 58% less water than other cities of comparable size, while generating 89% less landfill waste.
Tianfu – China’s Great Car Free City | Gallery
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Want to continue this glimpse into the future? Here’s a look at a few other amazing things that could be just around the corner: