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What Will Cities Look Like in 2030?

It's all about mobility and adaptive reuse.



This week we've been reading up on the Smith Group, the firm that was announced to be leading the development of Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus. The website features an opinion section titled The Decade Ahead. The article on design and cities is particularly interesting.


The article suggests that the idea of place is becoming increasingly important even in the midst of a digital revolution. All the while, there are environmental, social, and political issues to unpack. Like many other industries, solving these problems will require collaboration across expertises. There will be a more intense and deliberate focus on reusing our current structures. Spaces built for a single use should be adapted into multi-use properties. Space and resources are limited, so creative thinking will be necessary to make these changes with as little environmental impact as possible.


Transportation is another significant issue not confined to cities. It has a big impact on our environment and has the potential to operate in a more efficient and effective manner. How long until we can share autonomous vehicles? Developments in line with this could have a huge impact on not just cities, but rural areas alike. Yes, scooter and bike shares exists and see some use, but the problem of going long-ish distances needs to be addressed. For example, how do you get from the last bus stop in the city to the outer-lying neighborhood? Scooters and bikes aren't an option if it requires traveling on the highway.


There is no shortage of issues to address in regards to cities. The article goes further to touch on aging infrastructure and urban systems. One thing is for certain, the more data that can be collected, the more data-informed decisions can be made. It's looking like sensors are actually going to be a good thing.