A Look at Life in the Smart City of 2050
In “Forty Years From Now…,” Michael Durham paints a picture of life in a smart city in 2050 that is eerily believable, albeit tinged with a touch of science fiction. The family he “profiles” is comfortably ensconced in a secure, highly efficient home they never have to leave. From meals to medical care and work to leisure, their needs are all met through a virtual multitude of interconnected networks.
“Our smart homes will be environmentally friendly hubs for both work and play, where recycling units instantly convert our rubbish to compost and make waste water drinkable again. Domestic computers will automatically order our shopping and suggest books and films for our enjoyment on massive wall screens.”
But rather than debating whether we will or will not be spending time with our friends and family via 3-D holographic imaging or eating dinners prepared for us by our appliances, the story begs a host of other questions. What does the future looks like for people who aren’t quite so comfortable? How will we encourage social and cultural sustainability alongside environmental sustainability? In a world where the population is projected to reach somewhere between 9 and 10.5 billion by 2050, these are the questions we need to ask.