Imagining the Next Future City - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

Building the future city is crucial — today’s cities are likely on the cusp of one of the great global economic transformations to date. 55% of the global population currently lives in urban areas. By 2050, that number is expected to grow to 68%, which could lead to an additional population increase of 2.5 billion people. 

With this unprecedented urban expansion, it becomes critical to envision cities that not only meet society’s immediate needs but also pave the way for a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future. By exploring the practical implications of emerging technologies, sustainable practices, and human-centric design, today’s cities can redefine urban living for the future.

Here’s a look into the tangible advancements and strategies that will shape the future city landscape, redefining the way we live, work, and interact within urban spaces.

Intelligent Infrastructure

The future city will be a testament to the marvels of intelligent infrastructure, where cutting-edge technologies seamlessly integrate with the urban fabric. A comprehensive report by the United Nations Economic and Social Council emphasizes the significance of such advancements, stating, “Smart infrastructure provides the foundation for all the key themes related to a smart city, including smart people, smart mobility, smart economy, smart living, smart governance and smart environment.”

1. Transportation Revolution

Transportation networks will undergo a revolutionary transformation, embracing new technology with the potential to reduce congestion, high prices, and carbon emissions. Smart transportation may utilize mass transit systems and individual mobility systems, whether it’s ride sharing schemes, electric cars, drones, or even AI-driven autonomous vehicles. Countries around the world are implementing measures to enable the rollout of future clean transport. For example, the UK government’s Future Flight Challenge invested $125 million to develop greener flying options and the US created the HyGrid Project, based in New York, working to blend green hydrogen with the existing gas distribution system to potentially fuel vehicles in the future.

2. Sustainable Energy Grids

Future cities will harness renewable energy on a massive scale, using sensors, advanced metrics, and analytic tools to optimize energy distribution and usage. Solar panels, wind turbines, and innovative energy storage systems will power the city, ensuring a minimal carbon footprint. According to a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), “Renewable energy could meet nearly 80% of the world’s energy needs by 2050.”

Sustainable Verticality

The future city will redefine the concept of urban living by embracing sustainable verticality, utilizing innovative architectural designs that maximize space efficiency. Building vertically enhances available living spaces, which reduces the impact of overpopulation while preserving the natural environment.

1. Vertical Gardens and Green Spaces

Greenery will pervade the urban landscape, transforming concrete jungles into lush ecosystems. Vertical gardens and green roofs will not only enhance the aesthetics of the city but also improve air quality and mitigate the urban heat island effect. According to an article by ArchDaily,” the impacts of plants on cities, which are already widely acknowledged, take on a new dimension through verticality. These alternative cultivation methods are used to reduce heat islands, increase biodiversity, promote food security, improve air quality, reduce CO2 emissions, among many other positive effects.”

2. Mixed-Use Communities

Mixed-use communities are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future cities as they integrate residential, commercial, and recreational spaces within close proximity. According to a comprehensive study by the Brookings Institution, “Residents of mixed-use neighborhoods drive 20-40% fewer vehicle miles compared to those living in conventional, single-use areas.” This statistic highlights the potential for reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, and decreased carbon emissions. By providing easy access to essential amenities and services, mixed-use communities promote a more compact and efficient urban lifestyle, promoting walkability, reducing commuting time, and fostering social interactions


In the future city, hyper-connectivity will revolutionize the way citizens interact, making everyday life more convenient and efficient.

1. Internet of Things (IoT) Integration

Every facet of urban life will be interconnected through the Internet of Things. IoT integration in future cities involves the interconnectivity of devices and systems, enabling seamless data exchange and analysis. Sensors embedded in various urban infrastructure elements, such as streetlights, waste management systems, and transportation networks, collect and transmit data in real-time, enabling efficient resource management and optimized service delivery. Smart homes, smart grids, and smart city infrastructure will enable real-time data analysis, leading to optimized resource allocation.

A study conducted by Juniper Research projects that “the number of IoT connections in smart cities will surpass 1 billion by 2025.” This integration enables real-time data analysis and optimization, enhancing resource allocation and improving quality of life for urban residents. The World Economic Forum emphasizes the transformative impact of IoT, stating that it can reduce energy consumption by up to 30%, traffic congestion by up to 20%, and water consumption by up to 25% in cities.

2. Seamless Digital Services

Citizens will enjoy a seamless experience through advanced digital services. From personalized healthcare systems to virtual reality-based education, technology will bridge gaps and create a more inclusive society. The World Economic Forum asserts, “The digital transformation will democratize access to essential services, empowering citizens.”

Future Outlook

As we peer into the future, the cityscape unfolds before our eyes, offering a tantalizing vision of harmonious coexistence between humans, technology, and the environment. The future city will be a testament to continuous innovation, where sustainable practices, intelligent infrastructure, and hyper-connectivity can converge to create a thriving city in the face of challenge and change.


Identity Review is a digital think tank dedicated to working with governments, financial institutions and technology leaders on advancing digital transformation, with a focus on privacy, identity, and security. Want to learn more about Identity Review’s work in digital transformation? Please message us at Find us on Twitter.


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