What Does the Future of Cities Mean? It Means Different Things to Different People

Cities do not merely equate buildings, they are primarily made up of people. People. Living and breathing. People with history, culture, diverse religious beliefs and more. So, when we talk about what the future of cities actually means, it means different things to different people.

Collaborating with an army of people all over the world, filmmaker Oscar Boyson went out on a quest to know, what does “the future of cities” mean? and came back with this monumental 18-minute video. Among the cities profiled are Shenzhen, Detroit, Singapore, NYC, Copenhagen, Seoul, Lagos, and Mumbai.

What does “the future of cities” mean? To much of the developing world, it might be as simple as aspiring to having your own toilet, rather than sharing one with over 100 people. To a family in Detroit, it could mean having non-toxic drinking water. For planners and mayors, it’s about a lot of things — sustainability, economy, inclusivity, and resilience. Most of us can hope we can spend a little less time on our commutes to work and a little more time with our families.

For a rich white dude up in a 50th floor penthouse, “the future of cities” might mean zipping around in a flying car while a robot jerks you off and a drone delivers your pizza. For many companies, the future of cities is simply about business and money, presented to us as buzzwords like “smart city” and “the city of tomorrow.”

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