Five areas are anticipated to influence the most change in cityscapes includes: climate change and micromobility, airports, data centers, patient-driven health care, and museums and libraries.
Cities must adapt and “aggressively” prepare for climate change. Public-private partnerships will help cities adopt strategies by zoning low-lying areas like parks and wetlands, and creating elevated transportation networks in advance of floods.
Roadways will also have to adapt to the influx of new mobility vehicles, including autonomous vehicles (AVs), e-bikes and scooters. As more people turn to AVs in the U.S., 500 million parking spaces will open up for redevelopment, making way for reuse opportunities that include outdoor dining or gathering spaces.
Airports will evolve from transportation centers to essentially miniature cities. The number of people traveling by air is expected to almost double to 7.8 billion people in 2036, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Airports will seek ways to make their locations authentic to the surrounding area with locally sourced elements like foods and artwork. Airports will also work to attract local residents with their retail, restaurant and entertainment options. To help lure in non-travelers, airports will in-part focus on wellness experiences to help visitors feel welcome and pampered — such as: yoga rooms, outdoor green spaces, gyms and even walking paths.
The Kunming Changshui International Airport in China is an example of such an airport. It includes two hotels, multiple transit connections and a roof that is designed to act like a canopy of leaves, “softly illuminating the concourse, reducing glare, and increasing passenger comfort.”
Uber Air skyports also incorporate these trends with co-working areas, retail and restaurant space, and micromobility and ride-hailing zones. Gensler recently unveiled a Los Angeles skyport design that would include fitness centers and even museums to help create a community feel.
Super Computers The “arms race” to build supercomputers will also contribute to the data center market growth. National labs will continue their work to develop ever-faster supercomputers that can be used for everything from quantum mechanics to climate change research.
Patient-Doctor dynamic is expected to change in future smart cities thanks in part to increasingly tech-savvy patients who have greater choice in where and how they receive treatments, according to the report.
Data analytics will provide doctors with a holistic patient view, improving communication and personalized care plans
Many waiting rooms of the areas will transform from drab fluorescent-lit rooms to “active health and wellness concourses, where the community can access advice, participate in classes or connect with patients in support groups.”
Museums and libraries will continue to be pillars of inclusivity
Libraries will play an increasingly important role in the smart city. That role will include helping the community by promoting community service, learning through play and providing access to technology, according to the report. To help meet these new needs, the report suggests that libraries reconfigure their space to meet the changing ways people seek information.
Museums are advised to incorporate “gender-inclusive restrooms, railings, clear interpretive labels and navigational signage, and trigger warnings.”